Unfiltered Story #67183

Detroit, MI | Unfiltered | May 19, 2016

I belong to the ‘senior citizen’ demographic that many telemarketers target and exploit; hence, I receive numerous calls from scammers trying to sell me computer security software. One of the scams going around for the past several years is from ‘Windows Technical Support’. They inform you that they have detected numerous viruses on your computer. Then they ask you to start up your computer and guide you step by step to a folder on your hard drive that contains numerous ominous looking error messages. These are actually harmless files but the telemarketer impresses upon you that these are un-deletable viruses. When they have adequately persuaded you on the urgency of the situation and grave danger your computer is in, they ask you to download a software that allows them to delete the viruses remotely. If you go through with the process, you have essentially handed over the control of your computer to them. In fact, there are so many stories of people who fell for this scam and had to pay up to regain control of their computers.And I bet that many of the victims are senior citizens.

So when the telemarker asked if there is a ‘senior citizen’ in my household, I thought it had to be a scammer looking for a gullible old man. The description doesn’t fit me exactly because I am very tech-saavy especially when it comes to computer hardware and software. (Ibought my first PC in 1984.) But being a senior citizen I am expected to be computer illiterate; so I decided to play along and play dumb.

Telemarketer: Hello, I am Chris calling from Windows PC Tech Support. Is there a senior citizen in your household?

I: Yes, I am a senior citizen.

Chris: Sir, Our company provides technical support for Windows Operating System. We have monitored several error messages from your computer. We suspect that your computer is infected with computer viruses and would like to help you fix your computer.

I: Huh… what?

Chris: (realizing that he is talking to a senior citizen and needs to dumb down). Sir, do you have a computer in your home?

I: (excitedly) Yes! Yes!

Chris: The Windows in your computer is infected with viruses.

I: What windows? What are you trying to sell?

Chris: No sir, I am not trying to sell anything. We want to help you with your Windows.

I: Are you selling windows? We don’t need no windows. We changed ours only last year.

Chris: No sir, not the windows of your home.

I: (annoyed) then what are you trying to sell? I don’t have time for this!

Chris: (articulating each word) We are not trying to sell anything to you sir. We are offering virus protection.

I: What?

Chris: Your Windows computer protection, sir. Protection!

I: Oh I see. Protection… .Yes, I understand. Protection. So you are selling condoms. Oh yes, I understand.

There are a moment of silence on the other end. Then he hung up.

Perhaps he had a good laugh and then typed up his customer service story about an old geezer who thought virus protection was a type of condom.

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