Those Fake Support Call Scammers Are Lying About Tablets And Smartphones Now

This was inevitable: the subhuman phone scammers who pretend to be calling from Microsoft (or Telstra or whoever) and falsely claim they have detected a problem on your computer as a pretext for installing malware while charging you for it have now started targeting owners of smartphones and tablets. I guess the scam industry has to reflect sales trends.

Pond scum picture from Shutterstock

The ACCC's SCAMwatch service notes that the "we need to fix your phone too" is a new addition to the repertoire:

In a new twist, scammers are claiming to be able to fix similar viruses on people’s smartphones or tablets. As with the previous version, the scammer will ask you to grant them remote access to your computer, however they will also ask you to connect your mobile device to the computer so that they can access the device through it.

Lifehacker readers (particularly the tech professionals) aren't going to fall for this rubbish, but it's worth warning less-savvy friends and family. If you do receive such a call and you're in a hurry, hang up. If not, feel free to waste their time by stringing them along: it stops them calling others.


Comments

    The problem is, they don't actually use a call list, if they did, they would cross off the people who, like me, slowly build up momentum to a point where if they aren't switched on, it can get quite abusive... But they just keep calling back and wasting precious time... :)

    Last edited 22/01/14 4:21 pm

    I love these calls.
    "We need to fix your windows machine"
    "But I use Linux"
    "No no no, we need to fix your windows machine"
    "But I use Linux"....cycle, repeat.

      "Oh great! I've been looking for someone to fix it for a while…"
      * after a while of them instructing you what to do and you pretending to follow them and acting ignorant*
      "Wait….it turned off. I suddenly stopped working. The screen went blank. What do I do now?"
      "Ohhhh ok thanks… Hey, you've been really helpful. Can I have a number to call you back on? Preferably a mobile just in case I need to call you on the go?"
      *get their number and sign them up for a couple of illicit hotlines and competitions and over such mobile services that cost insane amounts of money*

      Yeah, I tell them that too - even though I don't use it. But I reckon that after having done about 20 years of Windows IT support, I can handle most problems myself.

    My record is 35 minutes before they hung up, not before they abused me for wasting their time! That included telling them I'd be back in a second (5 minutes) as someone was at the front door.

    I never get called. Never! No one has ever tried to scam me. I kinda feel left out.

    Amazing how fast they got off the phone when I asked them if their mother knew what they did for a living!

      Wait the guy understood u
      I am surprised
      Most of the time they can't understand anything u say

Join the discussion!