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.

About Daniel Cid

Daniel B. Cid is the Founder & CTO of Sucuri and also the founder of the open source project - 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 on his site dcid.me or on Twitter: @danielcid

  • Chris

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE55R7_0E-k

    basically what seems to happen

  • Richard de Groot

    You exactly describe the experience I had on June 16.
    I immediately posted a tweet referring to Phising by phone.

    Thanks for your post.

    Richard de Groot

  • mrtortoise

    rofl i used to get 2 of these calls a day

    In the end i keep them on the phone for about 2 hours. they get you to open the event logs and point ‘Hey look you have  bad events’ … yeah I know, im debugging my WCF services. YOU NEED CLEANING.

    pure genius. They also really have no clue what they are talking about. There is hours of amusement to be had with these poor guys. They are out to rob you, rob them of their time before they con your family.

    Of course the real art is not letting *them* put the phone down.

  • Guest

    Haha, I got one of these just the other day. They called my land line and asked for a previous resident (apartment). I didn’t think to play along though, mostly because the guys was seriously incomprehensible.

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  • Hawkemassagetherapy

    I just got the call advising me my windows operating system was comprimised I could correct it by turning on my computer and giving the tech support person access.  I advised her I wasn’t running a windows system.  She hung up!

    Unknown name unknown number on my call display.

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  • LauraLoop

    I’ve had this 3 times now but they don’t say the name of the person they’re after. Recent one was today and they claim theirs a PC running windows there ( I’m a guest at the phone number and i don’t have a PC… It’s a laptop) they still think there’s a PC. U know what i said? ” Is there? I’ve just gone into my systems programming and all is well but then, I am a good computer programmer myself”. He was quiet, said Oh then bye.

    Best thing is? I wasn’t lying… Much. I’ve learnt the basics from college. 😛 They have no knowledge of even a mac. Seriously some thought mac was still a PC running windows… So if you get this just hit em with your best knowledge of computer skills (don’t give info on the laptop/system itself) and watch em squirm. 😛

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  • Mart900

    hi i had this call today, i unfortunately went further with them, to an extent they actually took over my laptop, after approx 30 seconds i was unconfortable with this so i shut the laptop down but switching off, i immediately got 2 phone calls from the company which i ignored, i went straight to my local pc shop who said i most like have a trojan, he is looking at it tomorrow to see if anything was planted on my pc, at this point i admit i have been totally sucked in, very unlike me, please, if anyone reads this, first i,m not stupid however i do feel it, secondly take note of the written text from DD above, he/she knew about it, dont fall for this  organisation, i feel like swearing but would good would that do. martyn

  • Ms Elizabeth Byrne

    I have tried to put funds into my lotto account, using your bpay account number and my card number, to no avail, it did not work. I have funds in my bank account!!.  Have you changed your Bpay number, it is the only reason I can think of why my lodgement was not accepted.

    Regards
    Elizabeth
    Winners Circle number
    484 776 364

  • Corvid

    I got the identical call last night. For reasons that would take too long to explain I was strung along farther than others who have posted replies; that is why I am sharing my experience.

    Everything about this phish scam was the same script, including the voice. In addition, he tried to legitimize himself NY having me open some compute ID windows which he read back to me . That is when I got really alarmed and stopped cooperating. I never did open or enter the ammy program, and today I am taking the computer to test if there has been any virus fownloafed or trojams imbedded.

  • Chris

    I have just had the same phone call and did the above! The indian accent was unmistakable but this time his name was ‘Patrick Gosson’ i said jokingly i will have to check my computer and get back to you. I asked for the phone number and then suprisingly he hung up!!! what a w*****!!!!

  • Sonny

    Yep. I got exactly the same phone call today. They had already tried several times earlier this week. So they are persistant. I am from tghe Netherlands. At least be aware they are active in the Netherlands now. I asked them to call back later this afternoon, so I can try to track them down.

  • JennyMarie

    Just got a call from 732 489 1737 telling me I was going to receive a grant from the US govt. I’m sure the person was not a citizen. I just laughed and hung up. I tried to report it to the local police dept. but they said there wasn’t much I could do because no crime had been committed. :( I hope no one falls for it.

  • 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…

  • willem

    just got a call at 07:30h CET Saturday morning from a lady with an indian accent saying she called from Microsoft,,,,second call got a call yesterday too,,,told them I was not interested and afterwards called my phone company..I live in the Netherlands, microsnot would never call me at this time. or in a foreign language…

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