- The scammer starts off by claiming to work for Microsoft (a lie, of course). His opening gambit is to tell the mark that his or her computer is sending out signals that it is infected by malware (another lie).
- Next, the scammer instructs the mark how to open a Microsoft program called Event Manager, which happens to always have error messages related to logging problems, nothing to do with malware. Obviously, this alarms the mark.
- Scammer then reads the mark a “serial number” of infected machines and instructs the mark to enter a command that displays an “id number” from a Windows standard file – the same data can be found on all Windows machines. The mark is alarmed when the “id” is confirmed and naturally thinks the computer is on the “infected” list.
- The scammer then escalates the mark’s concern by screaming into the phone how dangerous the situation is. This is meant to terrorize the mark. The scammer then demands permission to remotely access the mark’s machine.
- The scammer takes control of the mark’s machine, opens some files and then claims the computer is at risk because “its license has expired” (nonsense!). The mark is told that what is needed is to load some anti-malware software to protect the machine and remove existing threats, for $250.
- The scammer applies the “fix” and demands payment through PayPal and asks for a credit card number. If you give this out, you are dead meat.
Older people are more likely to fall for this scheme, as young users tend to see through it right away. If you think you’ve been scammed in this way, contact the FBI and check your credit card and bank account balances. Instruct the credit card company to disallow any new charges and order a card with a new number. Also check your credit report. We at SellLeads.tv condemn these scam artists and applaud the efforts of law enforcement to put these crooks behind bars.