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Pete1867
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Possible scam?

I took a call today from somebody who sounded like they were in a contact centre on an 020 number. He claimed to be from Virgin Media and said there were problems with my internet caused by virus’s from websites visited over time.

I asked him to confirm his identity and he gives me a long hexadecimal number which did appear on my screen in order to prove his identity. He then asked me to visit a website called Awesun (which I’ve looked up and it appears a legit website) and he asked me to click on the download button on the website and he’s then be able to talk me through how to sort the problem out.

At this point I said I wasn’t comfortable doing this over the phone and was going to call Virgin back and he hung up on me. I’m almost certain now it was a scam but I’m concerned that as I visited the Awesun website he may have got access to my computer. I didn’t download anything as he instructed and he did hang up on me when I said I wasn’t comfortable downloading anything.

I was just wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them?

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Andrew-G
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Re: Possible scam?

Yes, it's a scam. The number that appears on your handset as the caller is easily "spoofed" by criminals, so isn't reliable in identifying corporate callers (although it's uncommon for scammers to impersonate your aunt and spoof her number).

In fact anything where somebody phones you up (or emails) and wants you to act promptly to "prevent" some outcome of which you had no prior knowledge is a scam.  

 

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Graham_A
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Re: Possible scam?

@Pete1867 Sadly, if you look back through posts on this forum you are not alone in receiving these scam calls.

As long as you didn't download any nefarious software or enter any personal details you should be fine.

These type of scam calls are becoming a major scar on our society.  The Action Fraud website along with Neighborhood Watch offer lots of advice on avoiding such scams.

Well done for being alert to the risk.

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Pete1867
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Re: Possible scam?

Thanks very much for your replies, the thing was this was so convincing and I can’t believe I almost went through with it.

I visited the Awesun website and was literally hovering over the download button when I changed my mind, pretty scarey stuff really.

As long as just visiting the website is ok then I’m sure I’ll be fine as I didn’t download anything or give them any info.

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Graham_A
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Re: Possible scam?

@Pete1867 @Andrew-G Whilst not directly related to this particular fraud attempt this news article caught my eye today.

BBC News - Martin Lewis and Sir Richard Branson's names most used by scammers
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57051546

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用心棒
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Re: Possible scam?

Good to read you caught yourself in time before any damage could be done.

FYI: the hexadecimal value quoted is likely a CLSID value generic to Windows, i.e. found on all installation of Windows

BTW BBC News ― Don't trust caller ID on phones, says Ofcom; better late than never I guess.

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Andrew-G
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Re: Possible scam?

And just to add another example of how "something is wrong with your internet/computer" scams can work, the scammers will often ask the victim to run a legitimate command that's part of Windows, called Event Viewer.  No harm is done by running Event Viewer, but it is a technical logging facility and always produces a string of alarming sounding error codes just from normal operation.  The scammers KNOW the error codes, and can say things before the victim says anything like "If there's any errors like XXXXX, then this confirms you have a virus/modem fault etc" and helps them persuade people that there is a serious and urgent problem.  From there they proceed to get the victim to download software, or accept a remote connection, at which point they've won.

I've had great fun stringing scammers along when they try this because I know enough about computers to do that without risk, but I'd encourage most people just to put the phone down.

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