Scam Alert!

Somebody tried to pull this on me the other day so I thought I'd warn people about this if they haven't already heard about it.

When my phone rang, I looked at the caller ID.  It read "UNAVAILABLE".  The alarm in my head started ringing immediately.  

When I answered, a fellow with an Indian accent identified himself as representing Microsoft Windows.  Indian accent?  The alarm bells got louder.

I could also hear a lot of clatter and voices in the background.  He was in what is known as a boiler room.  That's a room with many telemarketers or scammers all on phones.  The alarm in my head got louder still.  By now I had no doubt this was a scam.  I decided to play along for fun.

He said that they had detected someone using my computer for illegal purposes.  I said, "So what?  It isn't hurting me any."

He replied, "It can get you sent to jail."  When they threaten you with jail it is guaranteed to be a scam.

I said, "What is my name?"

He said he didn't have that information.  I'm sure he didn't as he was a crook.

Then I asked him for his phone number.  He said he wasn't authorized to give it out.  No way this guy wasn't a crook.

Then he says he can take care of this problem for me and all I needed was a credit or debit card. There it is!  That's the scam.  He frightens people into thinking someone is using your name and ISP address for illegal purposes and he can stop it - if you pay him.  Once you give him your information, he maxes out your card or cleans out your bank account and you're screwed.  Maybe the bank will charge you, maybe they won't.  It depends on their policies.  The bank may feel that it's not like someone hacked into your account and stole your money or made fraudulent charges.  You gave the guy your number freely.  You're responsible for the loss, not the bank.  You lose your money plus you feel like a damn fool.

I said to the guy there was no way I was giving him any of my info.  He said he would call the police. Having the business number for the police handy (I called once about their police auctions) I gave it to him and suggested he try that number and hung up.

I was screwing with the guy for fun.  My advice to you is just say you're not giving him any information and hang up.  I tried blocking him but it didn't work.  Since his number was "UNAVAILABLE" to my caller ID, there was no number to block.  I just hope he doesn't call back.  If he does, no more playing.  I'll just hang up.  

Dan 88!