Posted by: David Harley | July 2, 2010

Computer Support Scams

I just caught a description of a computer support scam reported a few days ago by Orla Cox, of Symantec. Briefly, you get a phone call from a “support company” telling you that you have a virus, and offering to clean your system and install a better antivirus package. The article describes it as a new scam, and indeed, when I blogged a couple of days before on similar incidents where the scammer claimed to be Microsoft or Microsoft-affiliated and to be installing ESET antivirus software, it was a new issue to me too.

However, my colleagues at ESET UK (I work for the US office, even though I’m UK-based myself) updated me with a number of incidents that have crossed their radar, and my friend Steve Burn supplied me with a list of relevant blogs and articles that go back to 2009. I did post that list in a follow-up ESET blog, but since it’s Steve’s research rather than mine I have no problem posting it again here. 🙂

ALERT: metsupport.com – yet another telephone based fraud (aka SupportOnClick revisited – again)
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2010/06/alert-metsupportcom-yet-another.html

techonsupport.com, click4rescue.com, pcrescueworld.com: SupportOnClick revisited
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/12/techonsupportcom-click4rescuecom.html

SupportOnClick: Phoned by Malwarebytes? BigPond? Anyone else?
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/07/supportonclick-phoned-by-malwarebytes.html

SupportOnClick Update
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/04/supportonclick-update.html

supportonclick.com scamming you by telephone!
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/03/supportonclickcom-scamming-you-by.html

Fake tech support call scam – prefetch virus logmein123.com
http://www.digitaltoast.co.uk/fake-tech-support-call-scam-prefetch-virus-logmein123com

New scam – They call you by phone!
http://www.malwarebytes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11156

Staffordshire Council – Telephone computer support warning (PDF)
http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/6997DBB0-E31E-4AFB-A886-C9DDEE114204/90090/TelephoneComputerSupportWarning.pdf

Cold call scam warns of virus infection
http://www.h-online.com/security/Cold-call-scam-warns-of-virus-infection–/news/112893

Scareware scammers adopt cold call tactics
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/10/supportonclick_scareware_scam

I also received a comment to my original blog from someone at http://spyhammer.com (NB, not spyhammer.org) telling me that they’ve been tracking similar scams. Spyhammer is apparently continuing some of the volunteer work that was done by the sadly defunct CastleCops site: I haven’t availed myself of their services or given more than a hasty skim to their forums, but at a quick glance, looks like a useful resource.

David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
ESET Senior Research Fellow

http://wp.me/pOMVc-20

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Responses

  1. There seriously are kids sat at home in Japan waiting to carry out scams like this. Don’t let anyone onto your PC for even a second unless you know and trust them. 10 seconds can cost you a lifetime of worry and loss.

  2. […] a while since I wrote about support desk spams (see Support scams and Social Engineering and Computer Support Scams), but they evidently haven’t gone away. Sunbelt’s Alex Eckelberry drew my attention to […]

  3. http://www.247pcexperts.com/ – 247 PC Experts IS A SCAM!!!

    PEOPLE DONT KNOW ENGLISH
    FAKE SITE
    WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY THEY DONT WORK FOR MICROSOFT!!!

    • I’ll try to look into them. Have they contacted you by phone, then?

  4. This happen sometimes,when suddenly anti -virus appears on the screen.Sometimes they email me.the best thing to do is ignore them to avoid the problem.


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