Friday, April 29, 2011

What would you say to a cyber criminal?

I am sitting at my PC having just hung up the phone following a conversation with a cyber criminal.

I was working at my pc when the phone rang. I picked up and a woman introduced herself as  representing "Online Computer Security" or something like that. The lady had an Asian accent and the line was quite poor so I guess the call may have originated from somewhere in Asia. She proceeded to tell me that they had detected numerous internet problems originating from my computer and  that she would be able to fix it.

Thankfully I was somewhat awake and realised that this was a scam. What should I do? Hang up the phone or perhaps try to get more details to forward on to the police? In the heat of the moment I saw red and my temper took over. While she was explaining to me how important it was to allow her to "fix my computer" (no doubt by downloading a virus from some website) I let rip:

"You are an unpleasant person and you work for an unpleasant company", I said,  "What you are doing is illegal and immoral. You might not be punished for it in this world but you will certainly be punished for it in the next".

Then I hung up.

I realise of course that this lady is probably just an underpaid lackey working in a sweatshop but I still got some satisfaction from my outburst. It is not often that you get the chance to talk in person to a scammer. I am also naive enough to believe that the little folks who work at the coal face of crime are more likely to be moved by an accusation of immorality than the bosses who exploit them.








6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope she's religiously inclined. She might not get over the prospect of going to hell.

Heh, if someone out of the blue tried to say something like that to me I'd laugh at them and maybe play along to waste their time. Not because I knew it wasn't true but because I don't use Windoze and therefore I don't apply. They'd have to be very specific before I took it seriously.

Firefox + NoScript makes for secure browsing. I used to just leave javascript disabled all the time but my stupid bank does everything with script.

Malware emails, same story, inline HTML is about the most my reader will handle, links and attachments and scripts and embedded objects don't get acted on so I don't have to worry. I can save attachments, eg: PDF's.

Simple solutions. No need for expensive bloated virus scanners.

Someone that targeted me could get in, but the typical broad base attack vectors are not open here afraid.


Solbright

Anonymous said...

I hope she's *not* religiously inclined. She might not get over the prospect of going to hell.

Heh, if someone out of the blue tried to say something like that to me I'd laugh at them and maybe play along to waste their time. Not because I knew it wasn't true but because I don't use Windoze and therefore I don't apply. They'd have to be very specific before I took it seriously.

Firefox + NoScript makes for secure browsing. I used to just leave javascript disabled all the time but my stupid bank does everything with script.

Malware emails, same story, inline HTML is about the most my reader will handle, links and attachments and scripts and embedded objects don't get acted on so I don't have to worry. I can save attachments, eg: PDF's.

Simple solutions. No need for expensive bloated virus scanners.

Someone that targeted me could get in, but the typical broad base attack vectors are not open here afraid.


Solbright

mbp said...

@Solbright - both of the responses above make sense so I amn't sure which one is valid.

Thallian said...

Even if you did get details, there isn't much prosecutors can do to someone in China committing scams. I think you may have done the best thing available to you at the time. It's hard to say.

Anonymous said...

Lol, well, I was trying to defend her. So the first one was the typo.

Otherwise I was being a right proper asshole not to mention hypocrite.

I gather you still have to vet each posting then?


Solbright

mbp said...

@Solbright your comments still get flagged as spam but I am still hopeful it will learn if I untag enough of them.

As for my retort to the scammer. The funny thing about it is that I am not much of a believer myself. It was just the nastiest thing I could think of to say in the spur of the moment. Which probably earns me a whole lot of bad karma. It did feel god to be able to give out to one of these scammers though.