My wife got a call this evening on our phone from someone claiming to be from "Windows Technical Department" saying that my Windows computer had a virus. Knowing that this was some sort of scam, Nicole says let me give you to my husband so he can work with you. ;) Oh, goodie. I get to have fun with the guy. We exchange pleasantries over the phone and trying to be as pleasant and chipper as I could be. The poor sap does not know about what is going to hit him...
Me - "I will be happy to work with you to solve our virus problem."
Him - "Go ahead and turn on your computer." Okay....my first problem. He wants me to turn on my computer...I have 3 of them on in a 5 ft reach...all of them on. :)
"Okay - Turned on." I wonder if the 5 seconds it took me to "turn on my computer" was enough time. "My Ubuntu Linux box is turned on."
"Look at your keyboard. Do you see the 'C-T-R-L' key on the lower left of your keyboard?"
"I see the control key.'
"Do you see the key that looks like the Windows logo?"
"No, I see the Option key on my Apple keyboard."
"Uh...are you in front of your Windows computer?"
At that point I had enough. I told him to stop trying to scam me ("this is not a scam", "Let me get one of my Microsoft certified people."...give me their numbers and I will check them out). I told them if they Google their own company, there are many links that say they are a scam. Protest after protest until I was done with the call. The number of the caller ID shows up as 987654321 (spoofed caller ID).
I really have to get up a VM quicker next time so I can try to see what they want me to do and better understand the scam. They will call back (obviously) because they called here 2 weeks ago from 0256592258.
Microsoft has even put up their own site to avoid these kind of phone scams. The US site on this can be found here.
Update on 2012-12-24 20:32 by Kirk
I received another one of these types of calls on September 22 from an organization calling themselves the "Software and Maintenance Department of OnlinPCCare" with the number 646-503-6605 in the caller id. They did not get much past "your event viewer errors are indications of a critical error from the internet" before I called them out again. Poor guy. :)
I did some more research on this type of scam and ran into some videos and information from Troy Hunt, a techie from down under. He has a particularly good blog post about it here.