“Windows Tech Support” calling? Watch out!

by Kelly McNeil on January 12, 2018 in

Someone calling you might claim they’d like to help you fix a problem, but they’re likely just after your personal information. Here’s a conversation I had with one- and the questions I asked that stopped him in his tracks.

Your phone rings, and when you pick up the person on the other end identifies themselves as ‘Windows Tech Support’ (or some other variation). “Something’s wrong with your computer!” they tell you. “We need to fix it right away!” They’ll then lead you through some steps that will ‘prove’ to you that you have a problem. A problem they have a solution for. Unfortunately, this ‘solution’ often leads to identity theft or some other cybersecurity breach.

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But it’s obviously working, or else scammers wouldn’t still be trying it!

Here’s a transcript of the conversation I had with one of these scammers that called me recently- and here are the questions I asked him that made him hang up!

Scammer: “Please close all your programs and go back to your desktop.”

Joe: “Okay, all my applications are now closed.”

Scammer: “Now look at your keyboard. Can you find the Windows key?”

Joe: “Yes.”

Scammer: “Now press that [Windows key] + R. Now type ‘eventvwr’ and click ‘OK.’”

Scammer: “Now go to ‘Custom Views’ and click on ‘Administrative Events’.”

Joe: “Wow! That’s a lot of errors! Something must be really wrong!”

Scammer: “Yes, that is what we are seeing. These are the alerts coming from your computer.”

Joe: “Really? Coming from my computer?”

Scammer: “Yes.”

Joe: “Can you tell me the name of my computer? What my computer is called? Or anything else identifying about my computer?”

Scammer: “What?”

Joe: “You said you are getting these errors from my computer, and I want to make sure you are working on the right one.”

It is at this point that “Tech Support” (aka a scammer) hung up.

This scam works, otherwise scammers wouldn’t be trying it! Be safe. Make sure you do everything you can to confirm the identity of anyone who calls you claiming to be from any sort of tech support. Hang up and call us at (610) 590-4858 if you need to!

Stay safe, stay smart!

Joseph Awe

Chief of "Trying to keep computers from having a really bad day"