The Art of Conversation!
In 2016 around about this time, so now roughly three years ago. I encountered a problem with my computer. I had been doing the usual surfing when suddenly this warning panel and the loudest bleeping possible appeared on my screen!
“Warning Warning [screech, screech] Warning Warning, your computer has a virus!”
Well it caught me by so much surprise that l panicked, but still l went through the usual checks to see what was happening but l couldn’t get this panel off. There was a number on it, and reluctantly l called this number – spoke to supposedly Microsoft Technical team or their outsource department and then had to allow them into my software for them to fix the problem and they promptly charged me £225.
I knew l was being scammed at the time, but l didn’t know what to do and to prevent it. After all said and done – and my screens and computer were working again – l rang my computer guy and he said “Rory you have been scammed, there is nothing wrong with your computer it’s a troll system they have in place and if your computer hits one of their virus cookies it attaches itself to your comp and bang they have you – next time all you need to do is disconnect and you break the sequence, because your computer is NOT actually infected to begin with. It’s all flashing lights and loud noise to disorientate you. By the way the package you just paid £225 for is worth about £10.”
Well as l am sure you can imagine l was pretty pissed off! Mostly at my own stupidity. I rang my bank and changed all my details and reported the fraud, but because l had voluntarily paid them, it was my fault and nothing could be done … but it did make me very more aware to not just my stupidity but to my naivety and vulnerability to these things.
I have not been caught since, despite my computer being hit by these fake virus panels a few times, all l have done is disconnected and they have gone.
However, it wasn’t the last time l was to hear from this scamming bunch of bastards. A year after this incident in 2017, they rang me up for renewal and l told them in no poiite terms to go forth and multiply and they became very threatening and called me a criminal and for most of 2017 they rang under a guise of 37 different numbers and each time pretended to be another firm.
Throughout 2017, they were ringing sometimes three times a day six days a week for roughly seven months, but gradually that enthusiasm died away and the calls got fewer and fewer.
I had thought of getting one of those number blockers with 1000 capacity however, scammers don’t just use one number they have a programme which generates under RNG [Random Number Generator] and they have the use of hundreds of numbers, so l figured the easier way was to basically ignore the calls or if l absent mindedly answered to be polite and tell them to ‘Fuck right off to where the sun doesn’t shine place!”
Last year the calls had started to wane and became slimmer and only occasionally was l being caught out because their RNG was able to produce numbers very close to our own local codes. But in 2018, l only accidentally picked up 7 calls out of probably 300. So pretty good. Strangely enough each time it was Harry or Barry or Gary or Gerry Willis – as accounts manager from an assortment of different companies, none of which were Microsoft as you know.
Towards the end of last year between October – December l only had to field off three calls, so according to the fraud team, they were tiring of calling me and had placed me towards the end of their “Mr Stupid Lists’ meaning l was about to be taken off their database.
However, last night around half eight in the evening, l got a call from a Mr Henry Willis of the Geek Squad. I Picked up the call because the number looked like the hospital appointments number and l thought “Thank goodness, my appointment!” However, it wasn’t it was this …
“Oh yes good evening Mr Motien, my name is Henry Willis and l am from the Geek Squad.”
“Sorry, do l know you?”
“Are you Mr Motien?”
“No, Peter Exley actually.”
“Oh are you sure you are not Mr Motter?”
“Yes, pretty sure, as l just told you l am Peter Exley.”
“Ah Mr Exley, can l speak to Mr Matten please?”
“Well no, because whoever that is, doesn’t live here.”
“Are you sure, it is the right telephone number. So you must be him?”
“Have you never spoken to this chap yourself then?”
“Right then how would l sound like him, if you have never spoken to him?”
“Oh yes good point, well l need to speak to him. My Name is Henry Willis and l am from the Geek Squad Techincal Services based in India. We are wishing to reimburse him for a false service he received last year. All we need to do is get onto his computer and take off our software. There is a small charge of £75, but he will receive his £325 back.”
“Goodness you are quite dilligent aren’t you? Working late then?”
“Sorry, what do you mean?”
“Well here in the UK it is just after half eight in the evening, quite an unsociable time for a company to be calling a domestic ‘so called client’, but if you are in India well l am pretty sure that it must be close to 1am?”
“No, the company l work for is based in India, l myself am in California, it is currently 4 o’clock in the afternoon.”
“Four o’clock in the afternoon, you say?”
“Yes, yes, it is, a lovely day.”
“Well are you having a later lunch then?”
“Sorry, what do you mean?”
“Well if you are in California, l am pretty sure that the time is around half midday closing in on 1 oclock in the afternoon, actually. I think perhaps you may need to take some sick leave, you sound very disorientated and confused. Right, my name is Exley. Not whatever the other name is. I am based in England, United Kingdom, and it is currently fast approaching 9pm. Now l do wish you a great deal of luck with whatever it is you are trying to do, although it sounds like a scam to me, and l hope you can find who you are looking for , but goodnight.”
“NO!! Wait, l am in London, l am confused, jet lag, l travel a lot – we did work in your computer last year, your computer Mr Exley, l meant Mr Exley, l have just looked at my notes and it is you!!”
“Really my computer? What here in this house, you came and fixed my computer here in my house??”
“No not in your house, online.”
“How did you do that? Well if you now apparently owe me money send me a cheque? You obviously have my home address.”
“No, we must make the repairs on your computer! We don’t have any home addresses, it’s not how we operate.”
“Going to be hard l think, l don’t actually have a computer, never have had one, terrible things really, all sorts of people can take advantage of you online you know? I am pretty sure you are a scammer, but don’t worry l have this device in my phone that records people like you. Can never bee too careful you know? Hello, hello … strange phone is dead?”
I cannot stand scammers!
NB: Received this, literally an hour ago …
I hope you are well.
We wanted to touch base with you about your account here with us. We hope that you are satisfied with the services that we’ve been providing over the last 2 Years, and based on your feedback on our last phone call we’ve noted that you are satisfied with our services and cost of those services.
Despite numerous reminder emails and telephone calls requesting payment of this account, the debt remains owing .We have tried contacting you on numerous occasions regarding the following unpaid invoice which is now over 6 Months overdue:
This matter has now reached a critical point and we require immediate payment of this amount to avoid further action. We advise that if payment is not received within seven days of the date of this E MAIL, we will instruct our solicitor to issue proceedings against you, to recover the unpaid debt together with our legal costs & this action may result in your loss of credit rating .
Please contact me immediately to advise when we can expect payment of this outstanding amount. As such, we would appreciate you making this payment as soon as possible. We still trust court actions will not be necessary and look forward to receiving payment by return. If you wish to settle the outstanding amount, please do not hesitate to contact us on 028276981305.
These bastards annoy the crap out of me … l have since 2016 blocked 6 fictious email contact. When l countered with them to take me to court, and speak to my solicitor and he would await instruction from them, they always come up with even more falsehoods.
There is not a day that goes by l don’t kick myself in my ass for being that stupid in 2016! All the numbers they use are false, everything about them is false. Yet, they catch people like me globally every year!