Phishing phone calls – Onlinesupport.com

It was early morning (around 8am) and I received a phone call from someone asking for me by name (using a private number and with a strong Indian accent):

Caller: Hello, Can I speak with XX?” (my real name)

Me: Sure, it is me.

Caller: Hello, I am calling from Online Support because there are some serious warnings coming from our Windows Server saying that your computer is compromised.

Me: Wow, it is?

At this point I was aware of what wass going on. This group from India has been calling thousands of numbers scaring people that their computer is compromised and convincing them to buy their service or install their software.

Since I knew what was going on, I decided to play along to see what would happen. If you ever receive such phone calls, do not do anything they tell you.

Caller: Yes, I see warnings from our Windows Server.

Me: What do I have to do to fix it?

Caller: I can show you the warnings. Go to the left bottom side of your screen and click on the “start” button. After that go to “computer”, right click on it, go to Event logs, then to Windows logs and Application. See the warnings? Don’t click on any of them! Your computer is compromised!

*He actually explained that much slower and step by step.

Me: Yes, I see it! Thousands of warnings!

Just to clarify folks, the Application event log on Windows always has a lot of warnings and errors. This normal, but they use this tactic to try and convince people that their computer is compromised.

Me: Btw, thanks for the help so far. What is your company name?

Caller: OnlineSupport (speaking very fast)

Me: What is the company name again? Couldn’t understand… And site name?

Caller: WWW.ONLINESUPPORT.COM (spelling each letter – Don’t visit the site)

Me: What is your name?

Caller: Jack Adams (hmmm….something seems off.)

Me: Where are you from?

Caller: I am from a call center in India.

Me: I am curious, how did you find my name and phone number?

Caller: Our Windows Sever from Microsoft reported your computer as compromised and Microsoft sent us your full name and phone number.

Me: Ok, I am in a hurry. What do you I have to do to “fix” those warnings?

Caller: I will transfer you to our Windows specialist, and he will take from there.

Me: What is his name?

Caller: John Miller. I am transferring now…

*call dropped

Unfortunately, the call dropped and I couldn’t follow along to see what would happen. I don’t know if they dropped it on purpose because I was asking too many questions….

Anyway, If you ever receive such a call, do not follow along. Plus, do not trust such company onlinesupport.com.

If they ever call back, I will try to follow up again to see what happens. Anyone else getting those calls? Love to hear other stories.

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About Daniel Cid

Daniel B. Cid is the Founder & CTO of Sucuri and also the founder of the open source OSSEC HIDS. His interests range from intrusion detection, log analysis (log-based intrusion detection), web-based malware research and secure development.

You can find more about Daniel at his site dcid.me or on Twitter: @danielcid

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  • heathersmk

    my mom got this call warning her about the windows os being comprimised and she followed their instructions and she let them remotely get into her computer. Should we remove all the things on her computer and reload? Do you think her computer is comprimised?

  • Diva4

    I can’t wait for the next phishing call. I am ready.

    When the spammer says, “Windows,” I will say, “Yes, in the bedroom and the living room. But they have already been washed.” When he says”PC,” I will retort, “PC? You mean my Points Card. Yes I got a free gift with my points.” When he asks about “laptop,” I will say,”My priest says it is not a thing that decent girls do. He only approves of the waltz ir foxtrot.”

  • rosebush

    i got a phone call on my cell about a month ago from an Indian lady….says the company name very fast….told her i couldn’t understand what she was saying. She asked if I had a pc…told her it was none of her business and she started talking about “windows” i told her that I didn’t know what company she represented, she didn’t have anything I needed because I have a MAC!!!!!

  • sue

    have received two such calls within the past month. Thank you for confirming my suspicions. Is there any way or one to report this too?

  • Jim G

    Today (2/21/14) at 11:06 am EST a phone call from Seattle WA – 206-7771016. A “Gary Johnson” called me from “Microsoft” with same message delivered in an Indian accent. I mentioned my Norton was working fine, and they disconnected immediately.

  • William Segal

    Just got the call…Cape Town, South Africa (on my-listed- land line number) The caller was of Asian origin. When he asked if my PC (or do you have a laptop?) was booted I said NO and you are phishing. He hung up :-)

  • Bozzo

    Yes i got one, today. He said his name is john from USA, from Microsoft windows. The the same story except that he calls from Microsoft…
    I let him speak about 10 min and then I start asking where his got from all my data (he knew my wife’s name) and in less than 10 sec I was on my wife Mac to see if firewall is on… And some other things on the router, open ports and so on.
    I was at the beginning a bit confused about this because of the full wife’s name and so on…
    He keep insist that I have a windows running machine in my home that’s corrupted or something…
    Actually I was confused because few days ago I repaired some things with teamviewer on a relative windows machine in Romania wich is quite few km from spain where Iive…