Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beware the "Windows Service Centre" phone call scam

Why is it that crooks are so ingenious? This is a social engineering scam, where a person calls you and tells you that there is something wrong with your computer, and offers to fix it. They then convince you with a whole load of misleading technical information, and even get you to run remote control software like or so they can connect to your computer to "fix" the problem.
Do not allow anyone to control your computer unless you know exactly who they are and what they are about to do. Do not type in commands into your PC unless you fully know and trust the person issuing the commands. Not only will you save yourself a lot of hassle, and probably preserve your data, but you will not be conned into parting with your money. (You think they are doing it for free?)
Fact: Microsoft is not "monitoring" your computer, and certainly does not randomly call users if they are experiencing problems. If you agree to send error logs to Microsoft, these are collected for statistical reasons, and cannot be used to identify an individual user or machine. They would be in violation of a ton of privacy laws if they did otherwise.
Question: why don't the remote control companies like and have big warning signs on their web pages:
Warning: do not install this software if requested by unknown call centre operators. Only allow remote control from people you know and trust.
This would protect many innocent and gullible users and protect the brand of the software. (Update: has done so.)
Update: has posted a warning on their site. Well done to them!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Who says Hollywood never has an original movie trailer?

Thanks to the Listening Post for this one, and Jerm for finding it.
Also, coming soon to this blog: the true story of a building contractor and the customer who finally had enough. I have all the relevant court documents and will post them in WikiLeaks style, but with names redacted to protect the guilty from themselves.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I just screwed up my blog!

I was fiddling around with some new blog settings and I totally wiped out all my carefully constructed blog settings.
Sorry folks! It's going to take a while to get it all back. Some of the items will take some time to figure out too. Please bear with me.
Update Friday 2 Sept: Not everything is fixed, but at least the site is usable again. I guess it was ready for a redesign, but not like that! I really must stop fiddling and get back to work.