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Discussion Starter #1
On Friday we received a phone call at the house from the number 123-456-7890. The person on the call told us our computer was likely infected with a new infection that is going around and wanted us to log in to a web page to have them look at the problem and repair it.

Being a computer expert, I didn't trust it. When I told him I was an expert, he hung up. I didn't think too much about it until I was talking with my mother who received the same call, in a location 3 1/2 hours away from me.

My hunch is that this is some company trying to leverage something like GoToAssist or other web remote control software that lets you control someone's computer. This company could get control of the computer and install scanning software that will incorrectly report viruses on your computer and then require you pay them money to clean out the 'infections'.

If we get a call like this, any idea who we should alert, if anyone?
 

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Possible scam

I don't know if this is the right forum but anyway today I got a call from "National Internet Service" out of Toronto and the guy was asking me if I had computer problems etc... He wanted to remotely connect to my computer and delete upt to 15 viruses, more than that and he could not do it. He said they "control" the internet in Canada. He got me to right click computer, left click manage, event viewer, windows log, system and apparently any yellow warnings there represented viruses that he could remotely delete. Is this a scam of some sort or was he legit? He had nothing to sell, I was just leary of him remotely controlling my computer so I hung up on him.
 

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He wanted to remotely connect to my computer and delete upt to 15 viruses
More likely to install 15 viruses and clean out your bank account. Definitely a scam.
 

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Great, I was second guessing myself. Out of curriosity what was he getting me to look at that had the warnings and some errors, the heading at the top of the page was "computer management".
 

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Those warnings are normal under windows.
If you want to protect against viruses you can download one of the many free application available, I do use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Never let anyone connect to your computer with remote assistance. For security this function should always be turned off; System properties, Remote.
 

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they basically cannot do anything to your computer remotely over a phone without knowing your IP address. This is simply a scam to get you to sign up to a fraud service.
 

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I like the line "they control the internet in Canada". Now that would be real POWER!!! Does anyone remember the Corner Gas episode where the "folks down at the internet" were getting upset?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
With services like GoToAssist, companies can get you to go to a web site and then you can grant them access. Very easy to get you.

The errors he was showing are on every computer and they know it. Makes them seem like they know their stuff.
 

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Out of curriosity what was he getting me to look at that had the warnings and some errors
The Event Viewer lets you view anything odd that Windows has to report to you. Most of the time, you can ignore all that stuff unless you have an apparent problem. When you have an issue, the event viewer can sometimes help figure out what's wrong. The scammer knows of the pollution of warnings that can be in the event log and directed you there under false pretense. Just the sign of yellow warnings (yellow is just a warning) can fool someone not knowing better.

As others have said, it's a scam and one I've been hearing about for a long time. I can only hope for one to call me so I can have some fun. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If they scare the average person enough, it might seem harmless. Especially if they convince them to see the "errors" on their system.
 

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^^^^
Unfortunately no, they don't just hang up. Many people know very little about computers and are also gullible.
 

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^^^^
That doesn't mean anything. Call agents can be anywhere, but show a common number for the company. I did some work, a couple of years ago, setting up remote phones for employees of a company in Mississauga. The employees, IIRC were in Ottawa, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They all had Mississauga numbers. For another company, employees in Edmondton and Vancouver, appeared in Calgary. I have done a fair bit of such work extending PBXs to remote locations.

As another example, at one company that I worked at a while ago, I had a line on my desk with a Seattle number, even though I worked in the Toronto area. When I used that line, it would appear that I was in Seattle, even though both the customer and I were in Canada.

With modern phone technology, there's often no relationship between phone number and location. VoIP makes it even easier and cheaper to do that.
 
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