Sitting at home tonight the home phone rang. A man with a thick accent informed me that he was calling from the Windows computer service department. “Sir, your computer is sending a lot of files to our remote system. This means there is a security problem with your Windows computer.”
Knowing this scam I decided to fish for a bit of a laugh and switched the phone to speakerphone. I made some concerned noises while the caller uttered gibberish about security file problems. At some point he claimed my computer was “infected”.
Right now, we have a lot of plastic sheeting around our home to guard against dust from some renovation work currently going on. That can be put to good use.
He tried to talk me into powering my computer on because it is safe and he will help me. At some point I wondered out loud if I should wrap my computer in plastic. I then hurried into the living room and made a lot of noise rustling the plastic sheeting. I claimed that I didn’t want to go near my computer since it is infected and I don’t want to get sick. I explained, “I’m wrapping my computer in plastic to protect my family against the infection”1. He tried to explain that the infection was an internet security infection. I listened a little and reduced the level of agitation in my voice.
Then I shouted suddenly: “No Gracie, stay away from the computer it’s infected…. uh the computer is Dangerous… Stay away.” … “How I can protect my children from the computer infection? I’m worried about my family’s health.”
At this point my darling wife was doubled over laughing uncontrollably but muffling her mirth in a pillow.
Again, the scammer attempted to back-peddle and explain that he needed access to my computer. But he clearly didn’t know how to handle me so hung up.
Total call time: ~5 minutes. Entertainment value: priceless.
This was the time when the caller announced he would hang up. ↩