Twice this morning I got a phone call from an unknown number, once from Germany, and once from an Austrian mobile number, both claiming to be from “Windows Support”. I hung up on the first call and blocked the number, and on the second call I decided to have some fun. So here is a re-constructed transcript of my conversation.
I should probably confess that I was sitting in front of my Windows 11 computer the whole time, with a couple terminal windows open on a few Linux servers; but then, I don’t think I owe scammers facts and honesty.
Hello sir, my name is Stephen, I am from Windows Support. How are you this morning?
I am fine, how can I help you?
We are receiving error signals from your computer in our technical server, for many days, there is a virus in your computer and your computer is unsecured.
Hm, that’s strange. Why would my computer send error signals to your server?
Because your computer is registered with our server in Austria, the license ID. I will prove it to you. Write it down and tell me when you are ready.
OK, I’m ready.
Ah, can you repeat that?
OK, got it
Now go to your keyboard, in the bottom left corner, do you see a STRG button?
Do you see a CTRL button?
Yes, I see that.
What do you see next to it?
A Windows button …
Correct, a Windows button. Now press that Windows button with one finger, and keep your finger on it.
Now with another finger press R, as in Red
What do you see?
What do you mean, Nothing?
Well, nothing changes.
What did you do?
I am holding the Windows button and pressing the R button, and nothing happens.
(He runs me through this a couple more times, without success, then:)
I am going to transfer you to my senior technician, he will help you get this done.
Hello sir, this is David. How are you?
I am fine
OK. On your keyboard, hold down the Windows button, next to the CTRL button on the bottom left, and then press the letter R, as in Red.
OK, I am doing that.
What do you see?
My normal desktop.
No, what happens?
OK, open Google.
Open Google Chrome.
I don’t have Google Chrome.
Eh, can you open Microsoft Edge?
Yes, I can do that.
OK. Now open Google
Now type “S” as in signal, “U” as in umbrella, “P” as in papa, “R” as in Red, “E” as in edge, “M” as in mother, “O” as in orange. What do you see?
I see the word supremo
OK press ENTER, What do you see?
I see “Supremo the best remote desktop”
OK, what else do you see?
I see a download button.
OK, klick on the Download button. What do you see?
It’s downloading a file.
It’s downloading a file?
Actually it is done. It downloaded a file called supremo.exe.
OK, click on it.
It says “Don’t know how to open this file.”
No, click on it.
I did. It says “Don’t know how to open this file”
I should probably tell you that I am not using a Windows computer, I am using a Linux computer.
Go f*ck yourself!
A few minutes later, another call from the same number.
Hello sir, why did you hang up?
(Ah, the first voice is back …)
*I* didn’t hang up, your colleague hung up on me after saying “Go f*ck yourself” …
Oh, I am very sorry to hear that. That technician, he is a bit crazy. I am apologizing for him.
Well, I should probably tell you what I told him: I am not using a Windows computer, I am using a Linux computer.
A Linux Computer? Ah …
At least he did not repeat his colleagues instruction to me …