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Elvis the phisher

I haven’t been posting much because, frankly, I’ve been too busy to do much on here. However I thought I’d share this – a phone call from Elvis.

He called from, apparently, 0151 808 0315 (a Liverpool number – that’s what he said, but the phone itself said it was a withheld number) and announced himself as from the technical department of Windows. Oh yeah? Yes, his department is a ‘partner’ of Microsoft. Or something. Tells me they’ve had reports of malware being downloaded onto my computer and creating ‘errors’ with the hardware. If I can just log on and follow his instructions he can clear up the problem.

OK, so the guy is phishing. It’s the first time, though, I’ve experienced this as a cold call on the phone. I ask a couple of other details. Which computer are we talking about? The ‘laptop’. Fair enough, which laptop? He can’t tell me.

I put the phone down. But he tries again an hour later. This time I say, if you’ re really from Microsoft and this is a real problem, you’ll be able to tell me the IP address you logged the problem at. He takes a stab in the dark, presumably thinking I don’t know my own IP address. Not having had nearly enough coffee at that point and being pressed for time anyway, I wasn’t thinking creatively but I could probably have got a load more information out of him and had some fun with it.

As it stands I’ll write a short horror story around it – when I have the time! I got the basic idea for the plot almost as soon as I put the phone down on him…

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  1. Jane Sinson
    January 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Interesting experience. Evidently inspiration for your writing, however if you would prefer not to receive such calls you can register your phone number with the Telephone Preference Service. UK based companies are not allowed to cold call numbers registered with TPS

  2. January 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks for the comment. This is true – I had the phone in my last house registered but haven’t yet done it here. However, I somehow doubt phishers would bother with the niceties of TPS and if challenged, they’d probably claim they were calling because I have a computer programme registered with them! TPS might help if it removes the number from the lists companies buy and sell but probably not if they’re using a random dialler.

    Sites like http://www.whophonedme.co.uk often have information posted by others who’ve received similar calls, which can be helpful.

    I’ve had phishing emails before – the latest claiming to be a refund on my (non-existent) Littlewoods account card, and redirecting to somewhere with a .cz domain name. It just struck me as noteworthy that this time it was a phone call. With emails, of course, most browsers will enable you to view the raw source which tells you where clicking the link will redirect you. Those that get through my junk filters, I tend to be more assiduous these days in forwarding to the phishing reports link of the relevant bank or whatever.

    Incidentally the other problem people are reporting at the moment is the rise in texts promising compensation for accidents, etc. This has become a big business everywhere (I saw a story recently about it happening in India) but there’s a BBC report on the UK situation at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16759025. I’ve had several of these texts recently but just hit ‘block number’ each time, though there is a process available to report it to the phone company for action.

  1. February 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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