International Routing Department Scam

There is a scam doing the rounds that tries to infect your computer or get you to phone a premium rate number for computer support. It goes something like this:

  • You get a phone call from an Indian sounding guy called Edward / Steve / John or something equally improbably.
  • They claim that your computer is sending out messages to indicating that it is infected with viruses / malware / trojans / etc.
  • They get you to turn your computer on and will then guide you to the “dangerous” files which are actually just normal system files.
  • Once they have shown you the dangerous files they either get you to visit a website or ask you to phone a technical support number.

Let me make this very clear this is a scam. The website will infect your computer with a virus or it will ask you to buy support or in some way get you to do something that you don’t need to do or don’t want. The technical support number will be a premium rate number which will, at best, cost you a small fortune.

The files these cretins get you to look up are always perfectly valid system files, one time they asked me to look in the system event logs. Be careful you don’t fall for their scam if you look in the logs – there are always error and warning reports in the logs, 99.999999% of the time they are not critical.

I occasionally like to wind these bottom feeders up a bit by pretending to be particularly thick or paranoid about my computer (I get called a couple of times a week). I normally make out that I’m going to smash my computer by throwing it out the window. Last time I pretended to start crying. Just now I had one that told me my computer was sending error reports to the International Routing Department based in California. What a nice bunch of people they are at the IRD to be monitoring my computer for free.