Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Oh, India, You SCAMp

I got a call from "Anonymous" this morning. Before I moved to Germany, I wouldn't pick up Anonymous's calls, but Germans love their privacy, so quite a few people block caller ID. So, I picked up, in case it was someone I knew that liked to keep it on the DL.

In this case, it was "Microsoft, from London". Which was odd, because the caller didn't give his name AND had a very strong Indian accent, with nary a hint of London. In the background? LOTS of other Indian accents, very loud. Which was another red flag, since I've called Microsoft (in London, or at least the UK) and 1) the rep introduces him/herself right off, 2) the reps had clear English accents and 3) I couldn't hear a bunch of chatter in the background. I was skeptical, to say the least, but I wanted to hear how this would play out.

He told me that my computer had been hacked and that it had been sending out emails (he didn't say my email account had been hacked, just my computer). He was going to tell me which folders to clear out on my computer to fix it. First, he wanted to know what key was next to the "STRG" key on my computer. I told him there was no such key, and he argued with me. "Yes, there is. It is left of the space key." He finally accepted that a Mac might not have such a key and decided to move on. He had me open a browser, "Do you use Mozilla?" and search for "validator". Which leads to a "Markup Validator Service" which is a real thing used to debug HTML.

At this point, I'm tired of the BS and ask for some confirmation that he's really from Microsoft. He hands me off onto the next guy, who also doesn't introduce himself. When I ask for validation, he assures me that he's "Microsoft, from London". I tell him that if he really is, he'll have my product registration information. "I'm just a technician, I'm not with Sales." Sigh. I ask a few more times, politely* and he finally blurts out, in a huff, "you're registered with the... beauty salon!" and hangs up. Burn! You Stay Classy, Indian scammers.

* Shocking!


Jules said...

I like that you didn't just hang up...that you wasted a solid 5-10 min of their time. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Considering most call centres are full of people with different accents calling different parts of the world, it could very easily have been someone NOT trying to scam you. How did they get your phone number anyhow?

jtingermany said...

They definitely were trying to scam me. Clearest indicator was his determined evasion of my question, "Where did you get my number?"