I had a great experience today. I received a phone call from someone purporting to be from Microsoft Support, who was calling because my machine was infected with viruses.
When he started down that line, I knew where this was going, so I spun up a virtual machine with Vagrant.
Here's a rough transcription (from memory and cutting out gems like, "look for the Windows key, it looks like four little flags")
"Support" guy: I'm calling from Microsoft support. Your computer is infected with viruses and has been alerting us.
Me: Oh no! How can I we check that?
"Support" guy: I'll walk you through checking for these error messages.
"Support" guy: Press the Windows key and the "R" key at the same time. What do you see?
Me: I see a little box pop up in the lower left hand corner
"Support" guy: In the Windows box, type "eventvwr" and press return (which launches the Event Viewer)
Me: (I type eventvwr into the run window.)
"Support" guy: Can you read back what you typed in?
Me: "e" "v" "e" "n" "t" "v" "w" "r"
"Support" guy: OK, press enter.
"Support" guy: On the main page of the Event Viewer, look at the summaries of the types of event log entries.
"Support" guy: In the Event Viewer, expand Windows Logs and click on Application.
"Support" guy: Scroll until you see an error.
"Support" guy: These error messages were warnings from Microsoft about viruses on your computer.
Me: On no! I didn't know that..
"Support" guy: Next, on the right hand side of the Event Viewer, there is an option to "Filter Current Log", click on that. What do you see?
Me: (I describe the error log filtering box)
"Support" guy: Select "Errors", "Warnings", and "Critical" and click OK.
"Support" guy: What do you see? Those are all attempts from us to warn you about viruses on your system. These are why I'm calling you right now.
Me: Oh wow.
"Support" guy: Right click on one of the errors. Do you see a "Delete" option? No? That's because the error is so critical, you can't delete it.
"Support" guy: I'm going to connect you to our "certified" Windows engineer. We'll remotely connect to your machine and help you fix the problem.
Me: Thank you!
"Support" guy: Press Windows + R again. Delete the "eventvwr" and now type "www.infosys.net" and press Enter
Me: Ok, I did.
"Support" guy: Do you see a Home link? And the fourth item is "Suporte"? Click on that.
Me: Ok, I'm on that page.
"Support" guy: Click on the download button for TeamViewer.
Me: Ok, I'm downloading it. It's done.
"Support" guy: Run TeamViewer and give me the code and password.
"Support" guy: Now I'm going to transfer you to our "certified" Windows engineer.
"Engineer" guy: Hi, I'm connected to your computer and going to try to help you.
"Engineer" guy: So, you see all the errors in the error log? That was us trying to warn you about your viruses. Why didn't you respond?
Me: I didn't know about them. I've never seen that before
"Engineer" guy: What anti-virus are you using?
Me: Just the built in Microsoft stuff.
"Engineer" guy: (He then opened a command prompt and ran the "tree" command which printed out a long scrolling list of files and directories)
"Engineer" guy: (After that ran for a bit, he broke the execution and quick pasted a line of text that said "system error... system warranty expired")
"Engineer" guy: What message did the command output?
Me: It says something about the system warranty being expired or missing.
*"Engineer" guy: Why haven't you paid for your system warranty? *
Me: (At this point, I acted indignant) I did pay. Look it shows that I'm running a genuine copy of Windows!
"Engineer" guy: No, the system warranty is different. You didn't pay for that!
Me: (I launched into a rant about why buying extended warranties was stupid, just to waste more of their time. After about 5 minutes of that, I took a breath.)
Me: Oh, and by the way, you guys are full of crap. I'm a systems administrator and a damn good one and everything you've said is a scam. (Then, I didn't hear anything from the "engineer" again.)
"Support" guy: Why would you waste our time like that?
Me: Why would you waste mine with your scam?
At that point, we went back to our own regularly scheduled days.
Thanks for the laugh anonymous scammer guys!Want more great reading? Check out my reading list!