Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeFrom The FieldHow to enjoy your "Technical Call" scam

How to enjoy your “Technical Call” scam

I have read about these calls from “Technical Support” scams initiating the remote access in Windows on unsuspecting people. I got one of those calls last night, but they didn’t know they were calling a 14+ year experienced Datacenter Administrator this time (before you continue reading, if you consider yourself to be an IT admin at all you should understand what RTFM, ID-10T, and PEBKAC means):

Me: Hello?

… Waiting…

Me: Hello?

<<Transfer Click>>

Technical Support Idiot #1: Hello? (Accent Detected)

Me: Yes?

TSI #1: Hello, my name is TSI#1. We have been monitoring your computer for some time and have been getting quite a few error messages from it. Do you have time to work on this problem?

Me: Sure!

TSI #1: Are you in front of your computer?

Me: I have been seeing some error messages on my system in the past. Are you referring to the RTFM error that I have seen off and on?

TSI #1: Yes

Me: Oh good, I’m glad I am not the only moron who has seen that error.

TSI #1: Can you please go to your computer?

Me: Sure, but let me ask you, are you familiar with Windows NT 4.0? It’s kind of a new fad in the US to go retro on your operating system.

TSI #1: Yes, but please hold on. Let me transfer you.

(Assuming at this point I am being transferred to the NT 4.0 expert)

Technical Support Idiot #2: Sir? (Maximum Accent)

Me: Hi!

TSI #2: Sir, I am here to help you with the error messages that we have been receiving from your system. We have been monitoring this for quite some time.

Me: Great, what do I need to do? I was just speaking to last technician and she confirmed seeing the RTFM & PEBKAC problems I have been having. Are you seeing that as well?

TSI #2: Yes sir

Me: Oh good! Glad we’re aren’t the only 3 morons in the world seeing this.

TSI #2: Please go to your computer.

Me: I’m there, but I was asking the previous technical person if you have any familiarity with Windows NT 4.0.

TSI #2: Ummm… yes sir

Me: Great, you’re exactly what I’m looking for. Please continue.

TSI #2: Please go to your computer.

Me: OK

TSI #2: Do you see the “Control” key?

Me: A control key? There is nothing labeled “control” on my system

TSI #2: Do you see the key labeled “CTRL”?

Me: Oh yes

TSI #2: What key is next to the CTRL key?

Me: I don’t know, it’s a black key with some weird hieroglyph on it

TSI #2: That is the Windows key sir

Me: Oh, OK!

TSI #2: Can you please press that key with the letter R? What do you see when you press that combination?

Me: A blank screen

TSI #2: What happened?

Me: A blank screen. Do I need to turn on the system to perform this action?

TSI #2: Yes sir

Me: OK

… Waiting and the occasional whistling in the phone…

Me: The system is up now

TSI #2: Can you please use the Windows-R key please and tell me what happens?

Me: Rather than going through this whole process, what is going to take to just dispatch you guys from India to fix my problem? Price is no object.

TSI #2: We are not in India sir. We are a technical support group that works with Microsoft to provide customer support.

Me: Oh you’re not in India? Are you in Redmond Washington? Are you Microsoft?

TSI #2: No sir

(At this point TSI #2 is trying desperately to get me open the Run window still, but I keep talking over him)

Me: Portland?

TSI #2: No sir

Me: San Francisco?

TSI #2: No sir

Me: Los Angeles?

TSI #2: No

Me: Detroit?

TSI #2: No

Me: Dallas? You sound like you might be from Dallas.

TSI #2: No sir!

Me: Florida?

TSI #2: No! Please open use the Windows-R combination and tell me what happens?

Me: I tell you what. I am going to let you off the hook buddy. I have been working in the I.T. industry for over 14 years now. There is really no need to ever call this number. You can stop wasting your time with me and move on to scamming someone else.

(At this point I expected to hear the end of the conversation, but instead TSI #2 started to challenge my IT claim!)

TSI #2: Really, if you have been working in IT for 14 years then please tell me your ID?

Me: My ID?

TSI #2: Yes

Me: My ID is 10T (chuckle)

TSI #2: That is an invalid ID

Me: Well it would be wouldn’t it? I believe your ID is 10T. I might be wrong here, not likely. Now, did you mean my “IP”?

TSI #2: (stammer) Yes sir, your IP.

Me: That education in proper pronunciation was free by the way. My IP is

TSI #2: That is an invalid IP

Me: It would be now wouldn’t it?

TSI #2: What is your IP? (Maximum Frustration Detected)

(At this point I continued to speak over him with my impressions of my Shyriiwook gargling for another couple of minutes before hanging up. This totally made my night. The creative mind started to flow in anticipation for the next call.)

I love out smarting scammers and sales people. Keep up the good work! -Scott