Here is a fun start to 2020! Happy New Year to everyone!
Warning: Be very careful with calls from “[COMPANY] Support.” They will tell you about a virus they need to fix. They only want to break into your computer.
I was driving when phone rang, and I couldn’t research the caller. Here are two solutions to consider (which you probably know already!):
Solution if at computer:
Do not give any information. Ask them for the [COMPANY] Support URL. Hold them to it if they don’t hang up. They will try to avoid the question. Put only the name in, not the “.com”. and see what comes up. Check their telephone #. If you see “scam” anywhere, end the call.
Solution while driving:
Engage the person and ask all sorts of palsy questions, “Where are you from?”, “How long are you with Apple?”, “Where are you based?”
Listen to the tone, you will hear if they are there to serve or scam. You can have fun at their expense. Then hang up.
Best Solution: DON’T ANSWER!
Here is my story about holding a scammer verbally hostage while I drove home:
“I had a ‘[COMPANY] Service’ call come in while driving home a few days ago. I took the call. He warned me about a virus that he had to check or something. Asked me how many computers and other devices I had, and I started chatting with him telling him saying I had to finish driving home before I could tell him anything.
“[Poor scammer, stuck talking to me as I drive through neighborhoods…]
His reluctance to engage me started sending up red flags. He tried to tell me that he was from the Netherlands and I said, ‘so when did you move there from Pakistan, because that’s your accent, right?’ [BTW, I am a linguist…] […truly!]
“[Poor, poor scammer…still driving]
“So my chatting began in earnest. I tried to find out where he lived in the Netherlands, did he like Speculoos cookies (serious yumm!), how long he had been there, why he chose the Netherlands, just being 100% typical ME(!!). So, I get home, and I tell him I am excited and ask him for the website so I could verify where he was calling from.
“[Poor, poor, poor scammer.]
“‘SCAM!!’ came up all across the computer when I entered in his telephone number, and when I entered typed in the name of the [COMPANY] service he “represented”, it said ‘SCAM!!’ too. Then I asked him whom did he really work for because everything turned up ‘SCAM!!’, and whooda thunk, he hung up on me!
“Poor scammer. I had fun. He’s not in the Netherlands (Toronto, actually, researched the number!) (…Toronto’s not in the Netherlands, is it?) (It isn’t Toronto, Ontario, Netherlands???). Doesn’t speak Dutch. Doesn’t know what Speculoos cookies are and had to talk to me all the way home. Not knowing Speculoos was truly the saddest thing!
Poor, poor scammer. He called the absolute wrong American! “
- Keep your information to yourself.
- If driving, keep a shallow newsy conversation going if you are up to it
- Eat Speculoos cookies (I get nothing out of this, I just love them!)
- Watch this to see what you can do with scammers:
Been scammed and need to rebuild your files? Please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a free initial consultation (remote is not a problem).
Michael O’Hanlan Consulting (RMOHC) is an accounting consulting firm based in the Washington, DC area. Michael O’Hanlan is a Certified Fraud Examiner and an Operational Accountant. RMOHC specializes in accounting cleanup and organization for commercial and government contract clients, fraud prevention, and training services and to keep clients profitable, legal, and compliant.