Wow, I almost got scammed today.  Just kidding as it was pretty obvious, but the gentleman named Jim who called me today from a Texas number (210-280-8487) had a very Indian accent and would have been very convincing if I didn’t do Information Security for a living.

He claimed to be from Windows.  Not Microsoft, but he’s from Windows and he’s been alerted that my computer is sending out alot of bad things including some of my personal information and must be infected with a virus and must be stopped so my data is safe.

I didn’t have a Windows system handy, so I had to fudge my responses – first, he wanted me to have the warm and fuzzy that he was legit.

He first confirmed what my keyboard looked like and if I had a Windows logo key on the bottom left.  He asked me to drop by a Command Line and type ‘assoc’ which gives a list of file extensions and program that it is associated with – so your computer knows what to do when you double-click on a .DOC or .MP3 file.  He didn’t explain what the ‘assoc’ command did, but he did tell me that one of the last lines in that file is the Client Security Identifier (CLSID) which lists the unique serial number for my computer.  It’s actually a pointer for your computer in how to manage compressed files.  Not your computer’s serial number!

He then had me run MS Config and told me to click on the Services tab.  He had me sort the services that were listed by Status and when I confirmed that some were Running and some were Stopped, he told me that was the problem.  The virus had stopped alot of those services which are necessary for my computer.  Now that we confirmed that I was the culprit (the virus allegedly sends out my CLSID which isn’t really my serial number anyhow!) and that I was definitely infected (since some of the services were stopped), then it was time to fix it!

He painfully had me open hit Windows-R again and type in where he would be able to fix my computer.  If I had something handy, I’d have continued to play, but I wasn’t about to give up remote control, so I terminated the call.  He called back 4 more times, from a 000-000-0000 number, but eventually gave up.

From the looks of what I found on the Internet, I’m not the only one that has received this call!

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