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Old 11-08-2010, 21:19   #1
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Mctavish23's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The Highlands of Scotland, UK
Posts: 2,577
Exclamation Beware of 'Windows Care' scam phone calls

Malicious phone calls are being made from an organisation styling itself as 'Windows Care' using names drawn from UK Phone Book listings. In a recent call to me, I was told that my computer had been identified by them over the internet as 'having a fault' and that it needed to be fixed by them urgently. It was suggested that their 'Windows Care' engineers could connect remotely to my computer and identify and fix the problem that had been reported to them. The advice and survey would be offered free of charge.

I was directed by the caller to the standard Windows Event Log for applications which, as they predicted, contained a number of 'Error Messages'. This is a normal function of the Event Log and does not of itself indicate any underlying problem. All Windows logs contain a few errors as a matter of course.

The callers were persistent, in the end three separate 'Windows Care'
people took over my call - initially a woman who was not coherent, and then two men in succession who introduced themselves as 'John Smith' and 'Steve Watson'. In an attempt to convince me that they were genuine they claimed to be working from a (real) address in the town where I live. A colleague who lives nearby reports that she has had 4 such calls and that the people calling her claimed to live in 'Edinburgh' although they were not able to pronounce the City's name correctly. Based on the quality of the call and the heavy accents, it is likely that they were calling from outside the UK.

Although I terminated the call, it is likely that their intended next step would have been to connect remotely to the computer, and insert malicious software into it, and at the same time demand money and my bank or credit card credentials to pay for fixing it.

The message therefore is that scammers are continuing to try any methods they can to get access to computers and compromise them, and to demand money and bank credentials from gullible owners.

A few articles detailing other instances of the scam and some steps being taken by the Metropolitan Police to halt them are listed below.

The Guardian:
The Guardian:

Network World:
Remember always to update anti-virus systems daily, to use a personal firewall and a spyware inhibitor and to check for system updates regularly.

Your friends and colleagues - can sign up for these free bulletins at http://safecomputing.open.ac.uk/subscribe.htm

Safe Computing!
The Viking
Use the Secunia Personal Software Inspector:
http://secunia.com/software_inspector and https://psi.secunia.com/

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