Monday May 27, 2013

It's Not a Virus (SRSLY)

Nerdmeritbadge familyhelpdesk

What do you do if you get a phone call from someone who tells you they've found a virus on your computer?

Our non-technical family members and friends are lucky to have people like us they can call on. But what about those poor people who don't have someone to ask?

I got this note from my father yesterday. (FYI, my Dad uses Mac OS X.)

A girl called me yesterday to tell me my computer had a virus and she could fix it for $169.00 with protection for one year. Her company is ISECUREVAP and she diagnosed my problem while we were talking. I've tried to include her diag. with this email. What do you think?

I wrote back to say "You don't have a virus. Those phone calls are a scam."

It's obviously a scam, but take a look at the info that she used to "diagnose" this supposed virus!

File name:

[Invalid] Markup Validation of http///tbb@cfcl.com/ - W3C Markup Validator.archive

W3C Markup Validator???

Hmmmmm.

Screenshot:

Supposed virus pt1

Oh dear.

I was expecting one of those fake Windows scanners that supposedly run a virus checker while you watch. (They're especially funny when viewing on a Mac). But this was new and different and quite surprising. They're counting on the poor person who answers the phone to have no clue what an HTML validator is.

When I mentioned this to a friend who does Mac technical support, he replied:

"One of my computer clients got taken for a couple hundred dollars this way. By the time he called me, he had already spent the money.

Another chose to hang up and called me about it. She saved a bunch of money."

(btw, I cleaned up the handful of missing

tags on our home index.html file... No more "virus".)

Some of the more interesting references:

It's Not a Virus (SRSLY) ( in category Computerware , Noteworthy ) - posted at Mon, 27 May, 21:20 Pacific | «e»


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