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SPAM Tech calls to clients say they see their computer serial number

Posted on 2014-09-05
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Last Modified: 2014-09-07
I have a client I have been out to a couple of times to do cleanup.  They have had a couple of SPAM Tech calls saying that they can see their computer is having trouble & that they can fix.  She seems to only have trouble with her computer & then they call.

I usually go in & cleanup the computer using:  Malwarebytes / IOBIT Malware Fighter / SuperAntiSpyware / AdwareCleaner / just started using Junkware Removal / TDSSkiller / CCleaner / make sure all win updates are done / flash updates / java updates / etc.  I cover everything I can.  I ALWAYS REMOVE ALL OF THIS FREEWARE SOFTWARE WHEN I AM COMPLETE WITH THE JOB.

Am I missing something?  

Can they really see her serial number or is this just a ploy?  I think it is (just to sound more believable)

Does these programs scan for key loggers?  

Am I missing anything else I should be performing on these machines for removal of malware & viruses?

Thanks for all your input!
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Question by:etronics6
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4 Comments
 
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
Brad Groux earned 167 total points
ID: 40306369
No, they can't see her system - they are "cold calling" people. They generally follow the call up with an email, "click here so I can help you" which then installs the malware onto their systems. You delete all of the malware, and they simply call her back knowing that she fell for it before.

Simple way to fix this. Tell your user to NEVER receive tech support over the phone or speak to anyone over the phone (except you) regarding tech support.

News stories covering these sorts of scams -
http://news.yahoo.com/video/cold-call-scammers-target-valley-084212451.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viwtWBeotCQ
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:macarrillo1
macarrillo1 earned 167 total points
ID: 40306407
I agree.  Although you could test the caller by
1. asking for the callers phone number and you call them back.
2. If they can see your computer then they can see the file on my desktop called 'Accounts'.  Please read the first line to me inside that file.  File does not exist of course.

Tech people don't just call people out of the blue.  Does she have some kind of 24 hour support  and monitoring service?

No, They are trying to SCAM her.
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Perarduaadastra
Perarduaadastra earned 166 total points
ID: 40306423
The first thing to do is advise the customer (indeed, any customer) that any cold calls purporting to know details about her computer, or any problems it may have, are certainly bogus.  Explain that falling for such fraudulent calls allows the criminal callers (for that is what they are) to not only obtain the information that they pretended they had to begin with, but also to install software that will obtain passwords and other credentials, and/or install backdoor software for other malicious software. Also, when the customer pays for these supposed "services" they will have her financial details as well.

A couple of things not on your list are:

Backing up the customer's data before starting work, in case something goes horribly wrong. The customer should have their own backup but if they don't, who do you think they'll blame?

A full anti-virus scan, using the customer's own AV software.

To your list of software tools I would add the excellent Combofix by sUBs, but only if you have a good backup of the customer's data. I've never had a problem with it, but it is very thorough and if something does go wrong during its operation then it may not be easily fixable. It's easily uninstalled afterwards, but the logs it leaves behind can be tricky to remove.
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Author Closing Comment

by:etronics6
ID: 40309240
Thanks guys!  I thought I was on the right track, but just wanted to double check my practices!  Appreciate your help!  :-)
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