back to article Qld police warn against Windows service scam

The Queensland Police Service has issued a warning against phone-scammers pretending to offer to fix viruses. The scam, familiar to telephone owners around the world, starts with a caller trying to convince people – usually in a disastrously incomprehensible accent – that a virus has been detected on their computer. If the …


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  1. -tim

    The scammers outsourced their scam.

    The most interesting bit about this scam is that it appears that the scammers have outsourced their lead collection to other call centres. I don't think the people doing the initial part of the call know they are scamming others. They get to a point in their script and then the call gets transferred to someone else. If you hang up on them , they will call back and there are some handy scripts around the net so you can answer the questions in a reasonable way to waste their time if your inclined that way. These calls seem to start with "We have detected a virus on your computer... can you turn on your computer?" It is not hard to keep these guys on the phone for at least a half hour before you get transferred to the real scammers who get very upset once they figure out you know their game.

  2. Visitant

    Toy with them

    They've contacted me twice, the first time claiming they were from Microsoft, the second time from Dell.

    As soon as the guy mentioned that I had a virus on my PC, and that he would help me "remove it", I thought I'd have some fun with him.

    "A virus? Oh that sounds bad. Yes, I'd really appreciate your help, thank you 'Greg'."

    Bring it on!

    If you can get past that thick Indian accent, it's actually a bit of a lark.

  3. enerider

    Ahhh, I remember these people

    They called not once, not twice but 5 times all up! The last of which to call me a bastard!

    Basically gave them the run around for a grand total of 2 1/2 hours with a grand total of two rickrolls and their remote input abilities disabled courtesy of the TeamViewer application they had me install on "my PC".

    End result, I got enough information to see about attacking their paysite at the hosting and DNS levels with emails to the people providing the services to get the plug pulled. There was a blissful 10 days of "502 bad gateway" adorning their paysite until they got it half working again. (At time of writing, their pay porttion generally leads to 404s :P)

    The pay portion of the website still doesn't work. is the domain for reference, with the Indian ISP BigRock doing sweet F.A. to remove it claiming it only redirects to the Google homepage...

    So feel free to contact Tucows who registered the domain to vent your displeasure.

    If someone does get called by these people, get the scammer's web address and hit them where it hurts, their wallets! (feel free to give them the run around too, it provided hours of entertainment!)

  4. mike_anderson25

    IQ Test indeed

    My mother is the most computer illiterate person on the planet and feels sorry for bloody telemarketers. So if she of all people has the nouse to hang up on these twats straight away, I really fear for the people who have fallen for this.

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    I got one of these the other night

    I managed to keep him on the line for 40 minutes.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge

    Evil bastards

    This happened to my elderly Father.

    Fortunately, he listened to my general advice regarding the Internet and scammers....

    He managed to get a phone number out of them, which he called and confirmed.

    He then reported them, not that anything will happen.

    See title...

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      WTF !!

      Less than 10 hours after posting the above, I get a call at home.

      I told them where yo get off, they hung up.

      See previous title.

    2. Whoa_Mumma


      Just got a call and got the guy's number. He said he was from "Windows"! Luckily I am computer literate and straight away questioned it. I took his phone number and just reported it to Microsoft as well as an online US database where you can report suspicious telephone numbers. The more people who do this the better and eventually these mugs might leave us alone!

  7. frankgobbo


    Unfortunately happened to my father in law a couple of months ago. A really trusting, not massively computer savvy guy but happy to give anything a go; he'd been complaining his computer was running slowly, so of course when "Microsoft" called up and told him his computer had problems he believed it.

    $200 debited from his (now cancelled) credit card later, I found numerous problems with the PC not limited to the full admin remote access tools that were installed and the dyndns client so they could find him again.

    It's really sad. They don't understand (or at least care) about the psychological impact these things have on people. Fortunately he jumped straight back on the horse. Asked me to order him a new PC, threw out the old 'slow' one and is now rapt with his 24" screen and speedy hotmail access.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    There have been many odd calls since the cyclone

    We were getting about 10 silent calls per day for a week. Several seconds of silence follower by a recorded voice of a lady saying "goodbye".

    Also had one call from a gentleman with an accent that sounded like he was from the sub-continent offering advice on Windows (not a double glazing salesman) but I was too busy at the time to even tell him to shove his advice where the cyclone doesn't blow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Give 'em the sub-continental finger

      You might try "challo Pakistan", popular in Indian traffic jams and roughly meaning "go to Pakistan quickly". For the nuclear option, go for either "matachaud" or "behenchaud", suggesting their relations with their Mother or sister may be unnaturally close. I can usually hear them spluttering as I hang up.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Tell me it isn't so.

  10. Gumby1

    Happening all over Oz

    Funny this should pop up I had them on the phone in WestOz last night. They start by explaining that they have had many error reports sent from my computer, as a lead in to gather more info . Its a good thing that their English is poor and sounds like all those cold callers that we(Oz) have been plagued with of late. They claimed to be from " Mirconet services working for Mircosoft".

    After some useless banter, I asked {tounge in cheek} if I would need a computer in order to have error reports ! He hung up , the bastard.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warning: you are dumb

    If they have reached a point where they feel that they have to warn dumb people about all the dumb things they might fall for, they might as well publish a daily newsletter.

  12. Mr Templedene

    Just had one of these calls in the UK

    Didn't manage to keep them talking for as long as some of you, excellent work, but got a good 5 minutes before the person at the other end told me to do something very rude and hung up.

    They then rang back, apologised and tried to carry on, but I had another call so had to get rid of them.

  13. Mike Green

    This scam isn't going to last long hopefully....

    My mother in law got called the other day by a guy claiming to be from Microsoft and saying there was something wrong with her pc. Fortunately she'd been told about it by a friend, and she immediately said 'No you're not! Aren't you ashamed of yourself?' and proceeded to tell him off till he hung up!

  14. Magani

    Oz no longer has titles

    I've had 4 or 5 of these in the last 2 months, so the Boys in Blue are a little late again.


    I think you're right about the initial outsourcing. The most recent one rang at an inappropriate time so I just gave him a quick earful about being a predatory lowlife. I could hear him protesting his innocence as I hung up. He sounded convincing enough to get an Oscar for Best Actor.

    I try to get them off the script. The time before last went something like:

    Sub-ContinentalPerson (SCP): Please turn your computer on.

    Me: Which one?

    SCP: The one that connects to the internet.

    Me: I have 20 computers. Which one? (I figure that if they lie to me,I can lie back!)

    SCP: The one that connects to the internet.

    Me: They all connect to the internet. Which one?

    SCP: The one with Windows XP

    Me: 6 have XP. Which one?

    SCP: The one with the virus.

    Me: How do I know which one has the virus?

    SCP: The last one you used to get on the Internet.

    Me: That one has Windows 3.1

    SCP: The last one with Windows XP that you used to get on the Internet.

    (At this point, Mrs Magani called out that drinkies were ready so I decided that a Bundy and Coke was better than talking to this twerp)

    Me: Seeing you're the one who knows that I have a virus, you must know the IP address of the computer that is infected. What's its IP, the name of the virus and the time the report was sent to you?

    SCP:Ummm, <click>

    Penguin, 'cos that don't have any in the sub-continent.

  15. Steve Taylor 3

    Near miss

    My mother in law almost got caught by this - she fell for it, but was too busy to cooperate with them at the time of the call. I've since given her the big lecture about scammers, so she should be inoculated against them now.

    Wish the buggers would call me :(

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Who? ?

    My computer?

    Oh, I'm so relieved, I thought you called about my affair with your mum, she's a lousy lay, so I broke it off.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting case of social engineering

    For anyone interested in the scamming side of things if you get one of these calls it is fun to play along with them to see exactly how easy it can be to fall for it. I had a total of 5 calls over three separate occasions last December, having heard about them on Cnet beforehand I was more interested in their process. I managed to determine the information they already knew about me (name slightly wrong, address and phone number),and a series of websites they were using for the scam. But the joy I had at wasting their time kept me and my facebook friends in hysterics for up to 2 hours at a time each call resulting in a hang up after the person on the other end had transferred me to their manager a couple of times. it is always better to ask to speak to their IT staff to clarify some technical issues that you are having, then their manager. If you are going to mess with someone's day you might as well mess with the whole call center. Ask where they are calling from then seriously question them when they tell you that the F1 grand prix track in Australia is in Sydney instead of Melbourne and they know this as their office overlooks it. They don't call anymore unfortunately but I patiently wait...

  18. Tim Bates

    No pre-test

    If they're the same lot doing the rounds of our northern-NSW town, there's no pre-screening surveys... I got one at the exact same time as my parents (who I'm living with, and our phones all run through a PABX). Neither of the lines had previously had a survey done - we all would have refused.

    I'm hoping they catch the bastards doing this soon. I'm sick of people coming into the shop I work at and asking about it - it's such a time wasting exercise trying to tell people "yes, it's a scam" 15 times while they re-enact the entire phone call (with saying "scam" between every word).

  19. bugalugs
    Thumb Up

    Had a number of these last year

    And with call-backs ( " I have a visitor - can you call me back at xo'clock ' etc ) and general ( pratially feigned ) ineptness kept them on between 3/4 and 2 hrs. " Dropping " my " beer " was a great time -eater. I did feel an ickle guilty listening to the solicitude in the callers' voice when I " DROPPEDMEFAGINMELAPOUCHFUCKWHEREISIT CURSERALEIGH " Just an ickle-ickle. As noted, when the Tech comes on it gets harder .They hang up when you no-buying. Funny thing - didn't even think about reporting it to the Public Legal Oversight Dudes©.

    Thumbs Up for Penetrative Skillsters taking these crunts down.

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