Support scammers & repeat business

For Virus Bulletin, Martijn Grooten recounts in Phone support scammers attempt repeat business how – a year after the encounter with ‘Clinton’ that he talked about in our joint presentation (with Craig Johnston and Steve Burn) at the 2012 Virus Bulletin Conference in Dallas (My PC has 32,539 errors: how telephone support scams really work) – the scammers came back for a second bite of the cherry.

He summarizes:

Phone support scammers have found a new way to make easy money: by calling back people whom they have previously tricked into paying for their services, and tricking the same innocent users into paying for a ‘renewal’ of the service.

While I got a certain amount of amusement from the continuing ineptitude of the scammer he talked to this time, it’s not so amusing for victims of the scam, as Martijn points out:

While it is easy to laugh at the scammers’ lack of professionalism, they have taken advantage of many victims in the past: people who have become worried after hearing the many stories about malware infections, or people for whom the call just ‘made sense’.

David Harley CITP FBCS CISSP
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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