Seeing Thru The Windows

He said his name was Brad, and he was calling from the “Windows Service Department” about my computer. I had serious problems, or so he assured me. My computer was riddled with error messages.

Given his accent, his mother probably never called him Brad. He also said he had never heard of Mumbai and Kolkata, two places I would associate with his accent. He claimed to be Canadian, but didn’t know how my Canadian name was pronounced.

I was busy. I probably wouldn’t have answered the phone, except I thought it was the person I had been talking to ten seconds earlier calling back. Once I had Brad on the line though, I thought I figured it wouldn’t hurt to talk.

I don’t know how long the Windows scam has been running. Several years at least. The idea is to show you error messages that every computer has, then you allow the scammer remote access to “fix” the problem. For a fee of course. The scammer, while doing that, steals data and installs some nasty bugs of his own on your machine.

I will give Brad credit for being persistent, though he gets nothing for truthfulness.  It took about ten minutes before I could convince him I wasn’t going to follow his instructions.

He kept insisting it wasn’t a scam. That he had vital fixes for my computer, that there were errors I didn’t know about that only he could fix.

I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t going to do anything he wanted, that I didn’t know who he was, who he represented and where he was calling from. Furthermore, I don’t give any information to or follow instructions from someone who calls me at random.

Normally scammers hang up quickly when they realize I am not a likely target for their schemes. Not this one. I think he thought he could wear down my resistance, that if he repeated the lie often enough I’d believe it. After all, it works for politicians.

If you get a similar call – hang up. That’s the best solution.

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