Home Your IT Home IT 'Windows support' scammers still trying to scam YOU in 2012

I just received a phone call from a Windows support scammer, showing the scam is still very much alive, and showing just how careful you need to be to avoid evil scammers.

There must be a lot of gullible people out there, for the Windows support scammers are still in full swing, trying to rip hardworking Australians off and screw around with their computers.

How do I know this? Because only a couple of minutes ago as I type, the phone rang, and a woman with an Indian-sounding voice informed me that she was from the Windows support service.

Naturally, not having come down in the last shower or anything, I immediately told the phone-criminal that 'Australians are not stupid, I know this is a scam'.

Clearly, the woman in question had been well trained to deal with this situation, for she did what she could only do in this situation: she hung up the phone in my ear, leaving me to contemplate my navel, my scam-free computer, and the actually rather pleasing 'beep beep beep' sound in my ear.

I suppose I could have led her on, telling her that I had a Mac, or expressing great joy at hearing from Microsoft at last, while reeling off a great list of problems I would have expected her to help me solve, while letting her think she'd hooked up a sucker.

However, why lead these criminals on? Stuff them and their criminal enterprises, and be warned, dear reader: they will try to get you too, and not only you, but all your relatives.

You see, I'm at my grandmother's place on a temporary visit, and I've noticed that this phone number gets calls all the time from real or really suspect call centres offering all kinds of crazy stuff.

I'm obviously not the only person getting these phone calls, I've read many stories of people being targeted, seemingly at random, by phone-based scammers, whether it be for too-good-to-be-true investments, Windows support or God-knows-what, whether it's legitimate, or faker than a fake piece of fake vinyl.

So, please be careful, the scammers are definitely out there in full force, and please be sure to warn (or re-warn) your less tech savvy friends and relatives that the scummy scammers are still trying to scam as many people as they can, and to think twice before believing anyone on the phone, no matter who they say they are, where they say they're from or whatever it is they're saying.

Windows support scammers... Shame on you for being such low-life criminals, and remember: Australians are not stupid, and we're definitely on to you and your nasty, evil tricks. Beware!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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