Looking For (Micro)Soft Targets

, , , , | | Legal | June 12, 2019

(My wife is on the phone with her 65-year-old father. He’s normally very intelligent, and not losing his mental faculty at all, but he is notoriously gullible. He’s telling her about a call he had earlier that day with Tech Support. It’s clear to us immediately that he was scammed.)

Wife: *to her father* “But you barely use your computer. Why would it have a bunch of viruses?” *listens to him speak* “But your computer was working fine.” *listens to him speak* “[Software Company] called you?” *listens to him speak* “It was a fake website, Dad. It’s just made to trick people by showing error messages and warnings about viruses.” *listens to him speak* “Please tell me you didn’t give him your credit card number!”

Me: “Give me the phone; I’ll explain it to him.” *takes phone*

Father-In-Law: “It wasn’t a scam. He said they found viruses, but he fixed the computer. He was really nice; his name was Mike.”

(My father-in-law used to work as a car mechanic until his recent retirement.)

Me: “Let me ask you one thing. Did your boss ever send you out to check the tire pressure for your clients at their own homes?”

Father-In-Law: “No.”

Me: “Did you ever drive around to your clients to check their oil without even asking them?”

Father-In-Law: “No, that’s silly.”

Me: “Right. It’s their car. They’re responsible for it, not you. And your boss couldn’t afford to pay you to check on everyone else’s cars for free. Right?”

Father-In-Law: “Of course.”

Me: “So, why would [Software Company] pay someone to check your computer for viruses when you never even asked them to? How many people would they need to employ to check on everyone with a computer?”

Father-In-Law: *in total surprise* “I think I’ve been scammed.”

(He called his bank, and they had already taken $1200. I seriously hate scammers.)

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