Swindon AdvertiserPensioner’s computer scrambled by hackers (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Pensioner’s computer scrambled by hackers

Swindon Advertiser: Ray Butt says his computer was hacked after receiving a phone call claiming to be from Microsoft Ray Butt says his computer was hacked after receiving a phone call claiming to be from Microsoft

PENSIONER Ray Butt has warned fellow computer users to take extra care after being caught up in a new phone scam.

Ray, 72, of Lydiard Millicent, found his computer completely scrambled by hackers after receiving a call from what he thought were representatives from Microsoft.

Fortunately, he clocked on to the scam before parting with any cash but not before the hackers had gained access to his device.

The keen jazz musician now wants to warn others of the dangers.

Ray said: “I was at home when I received a call from a lady who said she was from Microsoft. I said I was not available at that moment in time and left it there but she called back later.

“She said my PC was registering a number of errors and my machine would eventually slow up and close down. I asked her ‘How do I know you’re from Microsoft?’ but she was very convincing and knew how to hold a conversation.”

Believing the woman was from the computer company, he followed her instructions to press several keys on the keyboard and almost straight away the hackers had access to Ray’s computer.

“There were numbers and letters scrolling across the screen and they appeared to be performing a scan of some sort which eventually finished, claiming there were 7,023 errors in my computer,” he said.

“I was then passed on to a man who asked me to type in 5143 to look at the errors and find out how to fix them. I was taken in. Looking back I could kick myself.”

It was at this point the caller said Ray could pay for protection from the problems with several options, ranging from one year’s cover to lifetime coverage.

Ray indicated that should he buy an option it would be the lifetime option but he would not be doing so there and then. The caller then became quite persistent in asking him how he would pay.

After several minutes Ray hung-up but received several calls from them throughout the afternoon.

“My computer was completely gone at this point so I shut it down,” said Ray.

“I phoned PC World after the first call and they were extremely helpful. They explained to me that this is a regular issue and there are a lot of cases like this.

“I just want people to be aware of the problem and to take care. It is very easy to fall for.”

Luckily for Ray, PC World was able to talk him through how to reset his computer and it is now working again, but Trading Standards has warned computers users to be aware as tracing the perpetrators is difficult.

A spokesperson for Trading Standards said: “They are hard to tackle as the scammers are often from places like India or China which makes it extremely difficult to trace them, let alone deal with them.

“The best line of defence is for people to be aware of them and not to be taken in. The scammers are plausible and can contact you either by email, or by phone. “Once they have access to your computer, they can steal information or hold it to ransom.”

Comments (18)

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7:42am Thu 6 Mar 14

Nikki Nythe says...

If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you
If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you Nikki Nythe
  • Score: 12

7:51am Thu 6 Mar 14

Tonyblairisthedevil says...

I know people think how can you fall for this but if you are not pc savy its very easy to get taken in by a convincing con man..

No one from microsoft or any major software company will ring you up saying your PC has errors. If in doubt hang up and dont part with those credit card numbers or bank details.
I know people think how can you fall for this but if you are not pc savy its very easy to get taken in by a convincing con man.. No one from microsoft or any major software company will ring you up saying your PC has errors. If in doubt hang up and dont part with those credit card numbers or bank details. Tonyblairisthedevil
  • Score: 14

7:57am Thu 6 Mar 14

EastleazeRed says...

I had a call exactly the same but clocked it straight away , just strung them along for a few minutes even offering my bank account number which they excitedly accepted , then just hurled abuse at them and they cut off very swiftly .
I had a call exactly the same but clocked it straight away , just strung them along for a few minutes even offering my bank account number which they excitedly accepted , then just hurled abuse at them and they cut off very swiftly . EastleazeRed
  • Score: 9

7:57am Thu 6 Mar 14

Phantom Poster says...

Nikki Nythe wrote:
If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you
So you are suggesting that he should allow you - an anonymous poster - full access to his computer? Oh the irony!
[quote][p][bold]Nikki Nythe[/bold] wrote: If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you[/p][/quote]So you are suggesting that he should allow you - an anonymous poster - full access to his computer? Oh the irony! Phantom Poster
  • Score: 5

8:24am Thu 6 Mar 14

speaker2 says...

How Many times does the Adver have to report on this
OK
1: and most important
THIS IS NOT A NEW SCAM
this scam has been around for over 6 years now, and people really need to pay attention to what they are hearing on the Phone

MICROSOFT is a major international company and will never contact anyone by phone or email (Unless you are employed by them)
2: The second that Someone on the other end of the call mentions Microsoft or that they are calling about the Windows operating system, HANG UP straight away
3:If you are wondering how these Scam companies even got hold of your Home number (Telephone companies sell their databases to third parties)...It does not matter if you are listed Ex directory
4: And most important
Never and I mean Never do a number redial on your phone once you have hung up, Normally the phone number should be displayed (Write this down).Next step is to report that number to the Internet Crime Investigation
on this Number (0118 990 7300)
or here https://online.met.p
olice.uk/
You will need to report here, because Swindon's police Station does nothing what so ever
How Many times does the Adver have to report on this OK 1: and most important THIS IS NOT A NEW SCAM this scam has been around for over 6 years now, and people really need to pay attention to what they are hearing on the Phone MICROSOFT is a major international company and will never contact anyone by phone or email (Unless you are employed by them) 2: The second that Someone on the other end of the call mentions Microsoft or that they are calling about the Windows operating system, HANG UP straight away 3:If you are wondering how these Scam companies even got hold of your Home number (Telephone companies sell their databases to third parties)...It does not matter if you are listed Ex directory 4: And most important Never and I mean Never do a number redial on your phone once you have hung up, Normally the phone number should be displayed (Write this down).Next step is to report that number to the Internet Crime Investigation on this Number (0118 990 7300) or here https://online.met.p olice.uk/ You will need to report here, because Swindon's police Station does nothing what so ever speaker2
  • Score: 3

9:33am Thu 6 Mar 14

Davey Gravey says...

Never buy from a door to door salesman and never do anything a cold caller asks. Hang up on them.
Never buy from a door to door salesman and never do anything a cold caller asks. Hang up on them. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 12

9:52am Thu 6 Mar 14

PaulD says...

To help keep ou PC running well, keep your anti-virus up to date. You don't need to pay for one, there are some very good free versions available such as Avast, AVG and Avira.

Install an additonal anti-malware tool such as IObit Malware Fighter. Their free Advanced System Care is also great at keeping your PC running well.

To help avoid malware from being downloaded in the first place, use browser add-ins such as Adblock Plus and Ghostery.

However most free software is bundled with additional software which is essentially advertising masquerading as toolbars or productivity tools.

To minimise installing sauch bundled software...

Avoid clicking the sponsored results in Google Searches for software. These often bundle in additional crapware that you will not want.

Use a service such as Ninite.com which allows you to download free software withouth any additional unwated software.

Other than that, check what you install very carefully. Some free software uses tricks such as Options for advanced users only, which really are just ways to get you to install additional stuff you doen't need or want.

And as said above. NO software/security company will EVER telephone or email you out of the blue.
To help keep ou PC running well, keep your anti-virus up to date. You don't need to pay for one, there are some very good free versions available such as Avast, AVG and Avira. Install an additonal anti-malware tool such as IObit Malware Fighter. Their free Advanced System Care is also great at keeping your PC running well. To help avoid malware from being downloaded in the first place, use browser add-ins such as Adblock Plus and Ghostery. However most free software is bundled with additional software which is essentially advertising masquerading as toolbars or productivity tools. To minimise installing sauch bundled software... Avoid clicking the sponsored results in Google Searches for software. These often bundle in additional crapware that you will not want. Use a service such as Ninite.com which allows you to download free software withouth any additional unwated software. Other than that, check what you install very carefully. Some free software uses tricks such as Options for advanced users only, which really are just ways to get you to install additional stuff you doen't need or want. And as said above. NO software/security company will EVER telephone or email you out of the blue. PaulD
  • Score: 5

9:55am Thu 6 Mar 14

EmmBee says...

I had one of these scumbags call me once...I kept him talking long enough to find some choice Urdu swearwords online, then let rip.
I had one of these scumbags call me once...I kept him talking long enough to find some choice Urdu swearwords online, then let rip. EmmBee
  • Score: 4

11:02am Thu 6 Mar 14

Chrisg46 says...

speaker2 wrote:
How Many times does the Adver have to report on this
OK
1: and most important
THIS IS NOT A NEW SCAM
this scam has been around for over 6 years now, and people really need to pay attention to what they are hearing on the Phone

MICROSOFT is a major international company and will never contact anyone by phone or email (Unless you are employed by them)
2: The second that Someone on the other end of the call mentions Microsoft or that they are calling about the Windows operating system, HANG UP straight away
3:If you are wondering how these Scam companies even got hold of your Home number (Telephone companies sell their databases to third parties)...It does not matter if you are listed Ex directory
4: And most important
Never and I mean Never do a number redial on your phone once you have hung up, Normally the phone number should be displayed (Write this down).Next step is to report that number to the Internet Crime Investigation
on this Number (0118 990 7300)
or here https://online.met.p

olice.uk/
You will need to report here, because Swindon's police Station does nothing what so ever
To quote Trading Standards - "The best line of defence is for people to be aware of them and not to be taken in."

Therefore its good that the adver is reporting it again.
[quote][p][bold]speaker2[/bold] wrote: How Many times does the Adver have to report on this OK 1: and most important THIS IS NOT A NEW SCAM this scam has been around for over 6 years now, and people really need to pay attention to what they are hearing on the Phone MICROSOFT is a major international company and will never contact anyone by phone or email (Unless you are employed by them) 2: The second that Someone on the other end of the call mentions Microsoft or that they are calling about the Windows operating system, HANG UP straight away 3:If you are wondering how these Scam companies even got hold of your Home number (Telephone companies sell their databases to third parties)...It does not matter if you are listed Ex directory 4: And most important Never and I mean Never do a number redial on your phone once you have hung up, Normally the phone number should be displayed (Write this down).Next step is to report that number to the Internet Crime Investigation on this Number (0118 990 7300) or here https://online.met.p olice.uk/ You will need to report here, because Swindon's police Station does nothing what so ever[/p][/quote]To quote Trading Standards - "The best line of defence is for people to be aware of them and not to be taken in." Therefore its good that the adver is reporting it again. Chrisg46
  • Score: 8

12:33pm Thu 6 Mar 14

the wizard says...

I have regularly received calls from this guy saying he is a Microsoft trained engineer, etc etc etc about the problems on your computer sir etc etc etc.

He usually knows your name, but I very politely string him along without confirming my name or address or giving any detail. As he then starts the second phase, I usually say do you know that you are speaking to Trading Standards. He drops the phone like nothing on earth. Having researched one caller, they have a device in a London office which they access from outside the the UK, so we can't touch them, but the guys in London are liable as accessories to fraud. The police and trading standards are well aware of them, but as they shut down one office others open.
I have regularly received calls from this guy saying he is a Microsoft trained engineer, etc etc etc about the problems on your computer sir etc etc etc. He usually knows your name, but I very politely string him along without confirming my name or address or giving any detail. As he then starts the second phase, I usually say do you know that you are speaking to Trading Standards. He drops the phone like nothing on earth. Having researched one caller, they have a device in a London office which they access from outside the the UK, so we can't touch them, but the guys in London are liable as accessories to fraud. The police and trading standards are well aware of them, but as they shut down one office others open. the wizard
  • Score: 2

2:24pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Dickdock says...

When downloading AVG etc be carful to download from an authorised site, as you might download a virus

I have had phone calls of this nature and now keep a whistle next to my phone and blow it down the phone to them
When downloading AVG etc be carful to download from an authorised site, as you might download a virus I have had phone calls of this nature and now keep a whistle next to my phone and blow it down the phone to them Dickdock
  • Score: 3

4:57pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

This is great lots of helpful information local folk supporting each other.

On a side note this bloke has been busy when he called my mother answered and passed me the phone it is quite an old scam but was fun to be talked through my computer which I said I didnt know how to use after 10 minutes I asked if I needed a computer for this.."yes" I replied but I dont own one...

From contacting BT they said it is from a blocked international number, if you get a call can we see how high we can make his bill?
Competition to see who can get longest call?
This is great lots of helpful information local folk supporting each other. On a side note this bloke has been busy when he called my mother answered and passed me the phone it is quite an old scam but was fun to be talked through my computer which I said I didnt know how to use after 10 minutes I asked if I needed a computer for this.."yes" I replied but I dont own one... From contacting BT they said it is from a blocked international number, if you get a call can we see how high we can make his bill? Competition to see who can get longest call? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 3

11:55pm Thu 6 Mar 14

http://Www.Swindon.Org.UK says...

I have had tons of calls from these.

Kept them on line for 35 mins so far..

always aask which version of Unix I should use etc and if they say it must be windows I tell them I'll turn it on and they stay online while it boots...
make a few whirr click noises .. drop things etc shout to my 'daughter' to be quit etc..
If you think of it as a game, its fun.

Even got to speak to his supervisor (the woman) as I pretended I couldn't understand him..

She cottoned on and put the phone down sharpish..

Played Manuel from Fawlty towers once and kept replying 'Ce?' Peee Sea?
Which key?
I have four keys, which one?
The Windows Key?? My window doesn't have a key?
I have had tons of calls from these. Kept them on line for 35 mins so far.. always aask which version of Unix I should use etc and if they say it must be windows I tell them I'll turn it on and they stay online while it boots... make a few whirr click noises .. drop things etc shout to my 'daughter' to be quit etc.. If you think of it as a game, its fun. Even got to speak to his supervisor (the woman) as I pretended I couldn't understand him.. She cottoned on and put the phone down sharpish.. Played Manuel from Fawlty towers once and kept replying 'Ce?' Peee Sea? Which key? I have four keys, which one? The Windows Key?? My window doesn't have a key? http://Www.Swindon.Org.UK
  • Score: 2

10:37am Fri 7 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Yep, if I have the time it's fun to wind them up and see how long you can string them along. I tend to think of it as community service, if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to someone else who may not know better...
Yep, if I have the time it's fun to wind them up and see how long you can string them along. I tend to think of it as community service, if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to someone else who may not know better... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 3

11:01am Fri 7 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Yep, if I have the time it's fun to wind them up and see how long you can string them along. I tend to think of it as community service, if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to someone else who may not know better...
Glad to hear other people do this as well.
I have been told that playing the bad signal and make then shout is also fun.

Almost looking forward to the next call now.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: Yep, if I have the time it's fun to wind them up and see how long you can string them along. I tend to think of it as community service, if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to someone else who may not know better...[/p][/quote]Glad to hear other people do this as well. I have been told that playing the bad signal and make then shout is also fun. Almost looking forward to the next call now. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 1

12:30pm Fri 7 Mar 14

LordCharles says...

They tried this with me but I said I have Linux. She said what is Linux. That proved she was an idiot.
They tried this with me but I said I have Linux. She said what is Linux. That proved she was an idiot. LordCharles
  • Score: 1

12:37pm Fri 7 Mar 14

LordCharles says...

Nikki Nythe wrote:
If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you
I can sort it out for him. I will need his debit card and PIN because Il need to buy him a flash drive to save all his settings on. (That's the holiday money sorted out.)
[quote][p][bold]Nikki Nythe[/bold] wrote: If you haven't sorted it, let me know I will do it for free for you[/p][/quote]I can sort it out for him. I will need his debit card and PIN because Il need to buy him a flash drive to save all his settings on. (That's the holiday money sorted out.) LordCharles
  • Score: 2

4:29pm Fri 7 Mar 14

DiDiDI says...

I just tell them I work for the police and that thousands of people have reported their scam. That sends them scurrying.
I just tell them I work for the police and that thousands of people have reported their scam. That sends them scurrying. DiDiDI
  • Score: 0

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