The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 14, 2012

FTC exposes tech support telephone call scams

NORMAN — If someone called you on the phone, said they were from the “Windows Technical Department” and claimed they needed to remotely repair your computer because it had been hacked, would you believe them?

Numerous customers have been telling me stories similar to this for about a week now, but it seems scams like this have been around for a while. I had heard of them, but now I know people who have actually experienced them. Two of the scammers left a call-back number of 201-285-5200. This number leads to a bogus computer repair website called TechePC.com, which, despite appearances and area codes, has its roots in West Bengal, India.

The calls go something like this: the Windows Technical Department’s “Central Server” has been receiving error warnings from your computer, indicating that your computer is in danger of crashing or being hacked. The helpful tech support guy, speaking with a heavy foreign accent and a sense of great urgency, then asks you to “test” your computer by pressing certain key combinations on your keyboard. A confusing-looking window called “Event Viewer” opens, filled with technical gobbledygook, “proving” your computer has been hacked. He further explains that the “Central Server” gave him your phone number, so he could call and help you out of this terrible situation.

As the call progresses, you are pressured to visit a certain website and install something that will allow remote control of your computer, so that repairs can be effected. You are also asked to provide a credit card number to pay for services rendered. Victims of this scam end up losing between $50-500.

Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission started taking scammers like this to court last month, but new scams spring up every day, so it’s an ongoing crackdown. “The FTC has been aggressive - and successful - in its pursuit of tech support scams,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, “and the tech support scam artists we are talking about today have taken scareware to a whole other level of virtual mayhem.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Transportation officials find more cracks in Lexington-Purcell bridge, but repairs on track

    State transportation officials announced Tuesday that additional repairs are needed in at least 96 places on the Lexington-Purcell bridge before it can be opened....

    April 23, 2014

  • Stacy Ford named 2014 Norman schools Teacher of the Year during banquet

    Stacy Ford, Kennedy Elementary librarian, was named 2014 Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year at the district’s annual Celebration of Excellence banquet Tuesday evening at the National Center for Employee Development....

    April 23, 2014

  • Council OKs $48.8M contract for wastewater plant upgrades

    The Norman City Council awarded a $48.8 million project for wastewater treatment plant upgrades Tuesday. The council accepted a $50.3 million low-interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund....

    April 23, 2014

  • Water carry 5 Water Walk opens discussion about difficulties in obtaining safe H2O

    With large white plastic buckets upon their heads, two gallons of water sloshed to the brim and over the side, but the students trudged on down the South Oval. The farthest feat was to the Seed Sower, and as the sun glared down, heat ...

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood drive planned Thursday

    Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Ave. NW in Norman, will host an Oklahoma Blood Institute public blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday inside room A109 in the main building of MNTC’s Franklin Road campus.  The OBI is in ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Local student to attend arts camp

    Kate Kemmet, 15, of Norman, has been accepted and will attend Interlochen Arts Camp. Kemmet, the daughter of Rob and Lori Kemmet, will study musical theater at the Camp....

    April 23, 2014

  • Coalition seeks more jobs

    A coalition of groups that encourage employment of residents who have disabilities hopes to double the number of placed workers by next fall....

    April 23, 2014

  • Ex-judge cleared to run in McAlester

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A McAlester judicial candidate is cleared to run for office despite stepping down as a special judge in 2011 amid misconduct allegations, the State Election Board unanimously ruled Monday....

    April 23, 2014

  • Contemporary Dance Oklahoma to perform at OU

    The University of Oklahoma University Theatre and School of Dance will present Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, a mixed program of new choreography, works from the CDO repertory and guest choreographer Jessica Lang’s “A Solo in Nine Parts.” ...

    April 23, 2014

Video
Facebook