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)
techonsupport.com, click4rescue.com, pcrescueworld.com: SupportOnClick revisited
SupportOnClick: Phoned by Malwarebytes? BigPond? Anyone else?
supportonclick.com scamming you by telephone!
Fake tech support call scam – prefetch virus logmein123.com
New scam – They call you by phone!
Staffordshire Council – Telephone computer support warning (PDF)
Cold call scam warns of virus infection
Scareware scammers adopt cold call tactics
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