It was a beautiful morning. I was sitting at my sofa, happily stitching while watching BBC’s documentary about British musicals industry after World War II (yes, I could be highbrow once in a while), when our land line phone rang.
I don’t usually pick up the phone, as I don’t really like speaking on phone. But, my husband was still in bed, so I answered it. A few seconds delay, and then someone from the other side started talking — a male speaker. He had a slight South Asian accent, although he spoke really good English. He spoke really fast, and I couldn’t get his name or his company where he claimed he was working at, but then he quickly moved on and told me why he rang me.
He said that he was from a security company affiliated with Microsoft, and he said he noticed there’s a problem with my computer. He told me it was something that I picked up from an unsecure network in the internet.
I wasn’t suspicious by then and asked him which computer as we have one PC and two laptops which are regularly in use in our house. He could not answer, and he said any of them will do. I became slightly doubtful, but went along anyway because I thought he was quite convincing.
He asked me to run the eventviewer program on my computer by pressing ctrl or windows button + R, and type eventvwr. He kept pushing, and then I became pretty upset, and told him that I am not going to press the OK button unless he explained himself. By this time, my husband has woken up (probably heard me arguing on the phone).
He kept talking in round and round, and never told me what problem I actually had. He kept repeating “I am from a security company affiliated with Microsoft”, and “just click it and you’ll see”. That’s bollocks… I told him that “I am sorry but I don’t trust you”, he became very agitated and defensive, so I apologised, although I also told him “it is perfectly normal for me to be careful not to instantly trust someone who called me out of nowhere like that”
Finally, I told him to speak with my husband, as by then my husband has already got his coffee.
With the phone in my husband’s hand, I googled about the program eventvwr, and add the word SCAM with it. Results came up and hundreds of articles came up. This is one of them, written by a techies who knows what he’s talking about, and it explains about how the scam would work.
We were lucky because we were not panic, and just do what he asked us to do. This scam has been around since 2009 (I found one article from the US and another from Australia), but this is the first time I actually heard about it. I wish more people (not only people with tech background) had spoken up about this more, as I believe techies know better how to handle things like this, while someone who barely knows anything about computer operation would easily fall for this kind of scam.
Anyway… it was still a good day. Hope you have a good day too.
x ❤ x