I just had an … interesting … conversation with a phone scammer who wanted to hack my computer. Here’s the gist of it so you’ll recognize it when it happens to you. Bottom line is this:
If someone calls from “Windows Service Center” asking you to hit Windows+R and type in “eventvwr” they are trying to hijack your computer.
Strong language ahead. You have been warned.
Guy with a thick accent says he’s calling from “Windows Service Center” claiming my computer is distributing malware and hacked software. He asks for me by full name and says he will show me how I have been hacked and how to fix it. For reference the number he called is a new number that has never been made public and was never registered with Microsoft or any software.
I ask him if he works for Microsoft. No, he works for “Windows Service Center” or something similar. He explains it’s a 3rd party responsible for monitoring Windows software on behalf of Microsoft. Knowing that Microsoft does not have contracts with this type of company I already knew it was a scam, but I wanted to see what he was up to.
He asks me to turn on my computer and hit Windows+R which opens the Run window. From there he wanted me to type in “eventvwr”. Of course I didn’t but I let him trail on for a bit pretending I had done what he told me to. It became apparent what he wanted was for me to enable Remote Desktop so he could take control of my computer. Being unsuccessful (because I didn’t activate anything on my end) he kept saying my Software Defender software which comes with Windows (it does not) was buggy and needed to be fixed.
After a lot of back and forth I had had enough and I asked him where he got my number from, explaining that my number is not listed with Microsoft. Boy that got him going:
Mr. Scam: “Sir, you are a software novice and you clearly don’t know what you are talking about. Your computer is infected and I need to fix it. We have security experts standing by.”
Me: “I’m just asking you where you got my name and number from. I never registered this number with Microsoft.”
Mr. Scam: “I am trying to do you a favour. Microsoft has asked us to fix your computer.”
Me: “But Microsoft doesn’t have my number.”
Mr. Scam: “Listen to me you asshole. You are not computer savvy. You are a novice and you don’t know anything about computers.”
Me: “Actually I am a beta tester for Microsoft and a leading technology expert. You are trying to scam the wrong person.”
Mr. Scam: “You work for Microsoft?!!?!? Fuck you motherfucker asshole.”
Me: “And that’s all the proof I need you don’t work for Microsoft.”
All I heard from that point on was beeping so I assume he was trying to figure out how to hang up his computer.
Having a hunch this wasn’t the first time the guy had tried this scam I did a quick search on the interwebs. And look what I found: A YouTube video of someone having a conversation with the exact same guy trying to do the exact same thing!
More information about Microsoft phone scams: