The Scammer From The Broadband With The Bugs

, , , , , | Working | November 27, 2020

I receive a phone call from an unknown number. As I am in the process of moving house and have had various phone calls from estate agents, mortgage advisers, etc., I answer.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, is this the homeowner? I am calling from the [TV/Broadband Provider] broadband.”

Yes, he did add the “the.” Straightaway, I recognise this as a scam call! After reading some of the stories on this site, I am finally able to have some fun!

Me: “This is he.”

Caller: “Hello, valued customer.”

The real broadband provider would address me as “Mr. [My Surname].”

Caller: “We are calling because there have been reports of bugs and hacking in your area.”

Me: “Oh, dear, that sounds very bad.”

Caller: “We are contacting all of our customers at the [TV/Broadband Provider] broadband to warn you. We are able to make your computers much more secure.”

Me: “Well, that sounds good.”

Caller: “We need to check your router first.”

Me: “Oh, is that the big box filled with the Internet?”

Caller: *Pause* “It has some lights on the front. Can you describe them for me?”

My router has three green lights.

Me: “Uh, it has two flashing blue lights. Is that normal?”

Caller: “Yes, that’s what we have on our screen.”

Yeah, right!

Caller: “Are there any lights on the back?”

There aren’t.

Me: “There’s a big flashing red light. Is that how they’re hacking me?”

Caller: “Yes, we see that on our screen. Now, we need to run a program on your laptop. The Chinese and the Russians could be hacking your Internet and giving you bugs.”

Me: “Oh, no! Does that mean I’ll get that nasty Chinese bug I’ve seen on the news through my Internet? I’ve been shielding and had to stay inside!”

That last part is true!

Caller: “No, we can help. Is the laptop on?”

Me: “Yes.”

Of course, it isn’t.

Caller: “Right, I need you to obey these instructions.”

I pretend to mishear the instructions or not understand, having to check with my (fictional) roommate or asking how quick a “double-click” should be. This goes on for about fifteen minutes or so. Eventually, he says I should see a box with options on screen.

Caller: “What does it say?”

Me: “It says I can’t do this as I need admin access. I don’t know what that means!”

Caller: *Pause* “Let me get my supervisor.”

I hear him speaking to his mate at the desk next door, and then the “supervisor” comes online.

Supervisor: “I understand you are having trouble, valued customer?”

Me: “I don’t understand what’s going on. Oh, it’s so scary!”

The “supervisor” begins repeating what his colleague said, but he accidentally cuts me off and I get a dial tone. Oh, well, I’ve been on the phone for twenty minutes and had some fun, and I stopped them from targeting someone else.

But seconds later, the phone rings, showing a completely different area code and number. Knowing this is the scammers, I ignore it. They ring again with a third number. And a fourth. This one has an area code that doesn’t exist!

I go to YouTube and load up a clip from the movie “Independence Day” of the cities exploding, turn the volume up really loud, and then I press “answer” on their fifth attempt and play the clip.

This doesn’t work and they try another three times before I answer again.

Me: “Hello, [Fictional Police Force from Popular TV Drama] Cyber Crime Division, [Fictional Detective] speaking. How may I help?”

They didn’t call back!

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