Thought I’d just leave my experience of a recent scam call just in case anyone faces something similar.
1. Claimed to be from Virgin Media and that my router was sending them error signals that needed fixing
2. Said they can prove it to me, so I said go ahead
3. They told me to Google “validator” and to press the top link. Took me to the real W3C HTML Validator Checking page
4. told me to enter routercheck.com into the validator
5. This ended up with the Validator page checking the actual website routercheck.com for HTML issues, rather than actually having anything to do with the router or virgin media, but it was interesting to see what they’d come up with as their proof 😂
There's a range of variants on this, including one where the scammers get the intended victim to run Windows Event Viewer, which is a harmless technical function that is part of the normal Windows installation, but always produces a load of technical mumbo jumbo that looks scary to the uninitiated, and is used to "prove" there's a problem. Once they've done that they'll invite the victim to either grant remote access to their computer, or reveal personal data and login credentials.
Unfortunately too many people are taken in because they haven't learned that all incoming calls that feature any element of technology or money should be treated as scams, no matter how convincing or urgent they may seem. That clearly won't be affecting you @H4MZ4 but it's often a concern for elderly relatives.
The overall modus operandi of most scams is always the same: Create a sense of fear and urgency of an undesired outcome (loss of internet service, renewals of subscription that the victim's never setup, suspicious bank account activity), then get the victim to take some initially harmless measure that can reinforce the belief of a problem, then the kindly offer of help (let me access your computer, or move your money into this safe account, or confirm your bank/Amazon/Paypal details for me). And then the scammers job is done. Anything with an unexpected benefit ("free router upgrade" calls, prizes won in competitions the victim never entered, "free boiler upgrades") is similar, merely substituting urgency and an expiring benefit for urgency and fear.
This is all made worse by the fact that the firms with whom we do business are often reluctant to pass the message "don't trust calls claiming to be from us" because they're afraid that would harm their outbound telesales activities, and they don't have any standardised way of callers verifying the identity of an inbound call that doesn't compromise personal details. And it isn't helped by a lack of authentication that permits callers to "spoof" the number shown on the victim's handset.
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Thanks for taking the time to post in regards the recent call you have received, we appreciate you taking the time to post this with the aim to help prevent other members and customers for falling for the scam.
Firstly, we would never contact any customers in regards to these types of issues regarding connections. As Andrew-G has advised the different ways the scammers can look to 'prove' the issue and gain the confidence of the customer.
We appreciate not all customers are aware of this and have these helpful tips on how to deal with calls of this type.