I Run Ubuntu

Background

I regularly get crooks that phone, claiming that are calling from Microsoft (or from a company that was appointed by Microsoft). They tell me that there is a dangerous virus that is threatening my computer. They must fix something on my computer on Micosoft's behalf via remote control. This fix, of course, is something that will give them access to my computer so that they can get my banking passwords, etc.

It is difficult (and will probably end up as a waste of time) to try and report such a thing to the police. The police has their hands full with more series stuff. So, now I welcome these calls as free entertainment sessions. I play with the crooks to see how far I can push them. Below is one example that I had.

16 March 2013

           Land line telephone rings on my desk next to my computer.

Me:     "Good morning, Alida Delport speaking;"

Voice: "Good morning Ma'm. My name is Alisha. 
           I am calling from Microsoft Remote Security Control Centre. 
           Ma'm, how are you today?"

Me:     "Why?"

Voice: "Ma''m," she rambles on, ignoring my question, "I believe you have a computer?"

Me:     "Yes, why?"

Voice: "Ma'm, there is a dangerous computer virus out that can crash your computer. 
           We must help you to protect your computer from the Windows Control Centre."

Me:     "Oh."

Voice: "Ma'm, are you at your computer?"

Me:     "No." 
           (If crooks can con, I can too.
            In fact - it stands in the Bible in Exodus 21:24: "...eye for eye, tooth for tooth...")

Voice: "Ma'm, can you go to you computer?"

Me:     "Okay. Wait - I am going." 
            (I imagine the smile on this crook's face in anticipation of an easy con.
             How clever can she be? 
            She assumes that I have a remote landline phone with which I can walk from where ever I am to my computer.
            Mmm - next time I will play the game of having a computer in a different room. )
           
Me:     "Okay, I am at it."

Voice: "Do you see the Windows start button on your screen?"

Me:     "How does it look?"

Voice: "That round circle at the bottom of the screen."

Me:     "No, I don't see it."

Voice: "Ma'm, is your computer on?"

Me:     "No."

Voice: "Can you turn it on, please."
           (Mmm - some irritation coming up.... Yippee from my side.)

Me:     "Okay. Just wait."
            (I press some keys so that the crook can hear keyboard clicks.)

Me:     "Sorry - my computer is slow. Are you still there?"

Voice: "Yes, Ma'm."

Me:     "Ah! It is on now."

Voice: "Good. Can you now see the start button?"

Me:     "No."
           (Pause - crook is thinking.)

Voice: "Okay Ma'm, is there a start button on your keyboard?"

Me:     "Where does it sit?"
           (I can hear her taking a deep breath.  The game is getting good!)

Voice: "Look at the bottom left. Do you see the control key?"

Me:     "The one that reads c-t-r-l?"

Voice:  (Relieved) "Yes! Now look next to it. What do you see?"

Me:     "The table." 

Voice: "No, look to the right - is that key the Windows Start button?"

Me:     "No.

Voice:  "How does that key look?"

Me:     "It is black." 
            (Silence.) 
Me:      "...and square,"  I added quickly.

Voice: "Does it have the Windows sign on?"

Me:     "No."

Voice: "What is written on it"

Me:     "f-n." 

Voice:  (Relieved) "Okay - next to it - to the right - do you now see the Windows start button?"

Me:     "Ooooh! Yes, Now I see it!"

Voice: (Eager) "Now press it, please."

Me:     "Okay ...done!." 
           (Lying of course)

Voice: "Now go to Control Panel."

           (Pause on my side)

Voice: "Ma'm?"

Me:     "I don't see a Control Panel. How does it look?"
           (I hear another deep breath).

Voice: "M'am, what version of Windows are you running?"

Me:     "I don't run Windows. I run Ubuntu."

           Click.

17 March 2013


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