The funny side of telephone spam

From February:

I had such a good laugh this morning. Rich (my husband, for those of you who don’t know) answered a spam phone call and kept the caller on the line, which we do from time to time for a little free recreation. If you get a similar opportunity, I recommend it highly. Here’s how we do it.

This call was a little different. On the other end was a guy with a very foreign accent–you know the kind, he sounded just the same as when you call a company for some help and it’s outsourced to a third world country. Barely intelligible. And he said he was calling to help us! Rich stalled until he got into my office and put him on speaker phone. This guy started right in with how he was calling to diagnose our computer woes and walk us through a fix, how does that sound? Oh boy! Yes, help us! Rich let the guy walk him through computer testing, but asked him to repeat himself over and over, keeping him online, believing that he’s doing what the guy is telling him to do.

So anyway, this guy tells Rich to get on the computer, look at the monitor, and tell him what he sees. Icons, he says. Rich says birds. Then come more instructions: go to the lower left side of the keyboard and find the Control key. Where? Rich asks. What key? Oh, okay, got it. At this point, I think we’re up to about ten minutes of play. I’ve been silent so far. Rich is “struggling” but he finally understands that he’s supposed to push Control R, which he states that he just did. There’s like half a minute of silence, and then–as if I’ve just come in–I say, “Oh my God, what did you do to my computer?!!” The “tech” sounds panicked: “What happened? What do you see??” I’m cracking up, silently. Rich says the birds flew away. The tech starts dialoging in the background in another language. Really, this much fun shouldn’t be free.

Rich leaves the office. The guy’s still on the speaker phone in MY office, though, so I’m left with a couple minutes of, “Sir?” and “What do you see?” I wanted to say that he went to the bathroom, but I resisted. Now that I think about it, I should have said my husband was throwing up, or there was smoke coming out of the CPU. Darn, I missed that opportunity.

Rich returns to my office. He’s been on his computer finding out that this kind of spam call is gaining in frequency. Techie-sounding people call, get people to push a couple keys on their keyboard, then the tech says he sees a problem with the computer and can fix it for $75. Would anybody really fall for this?? I guess so. I mean, it’s hell enough when you HAVE to deal with real outsourced calls, why cooperate AND PAY FOR an unsolicited one?

Be prepared. If you get the call, be devious. Work it. Slowwwwly. Be evil. 🙂

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