Anatomy of a Phone Call Scam


By Linda Lindquist, Certified Malware Removal Specialist, Keeping Your Computer Healthy


** Pay attention – Do not be hacked by calling scammers **


phone1: The caller ID on your phone reads “Comcast Cable”.  The caller has already called four times that day; out of curiosity, you pick up the 4th call, thinking there may be some problem with your Comcast billing.  After all, the caller ID indicates “Comcast Cable”.


2: The scammer has found his ‘mark’.  He informs you that he needs access to your computer to fix an internet ‘IP data error’ and instructs you how to give him access.


3: Discovering that your computer has Apple iCloud installed, the scammer has you change your Apple ID password and shows you your Apple account settings.  He persuades you to give him the complete credit card info on record in your Apple account (number, expiration date and CVC).


4: The scammer asks you to purchase iTunes cards to pay him.  You refuse, starting to feel suspicious.


5: The scammer asks you to step away from your modem, while he fixes the “IP data error”.  He keeps you busy reading regulatory information from your smart phone settings.  The scammer does not want you to see him changing your g-mail settings.  He forwards your e-mail from your inbox to his e-mail and puts new mail in the deleted items trash.


6: The scammer then purchases $800 in iTunes cards, google play cards and Amazon gift cards with your pilfered credit card information using your online accounts with Apple, Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon.  The codes to unlock them are forwarded to his e-mail, and you don’t notice because your e-mail is in the trash. (See step 5 above).


7: The scam is complete.  You are informed that the problem is fixed, and the scammer hangs up.


8: Suspecting something is not right, you call Comcast, who informs you that they do not do call outs for tech support, they do not ask for payment with iTunes cards, that you’ve been hacked, and you should immediately cancel your credit card.  You call your credit card company, who cancels the card.  You are waiting for a new card.


9: A couple of days later, you call for help because you have received no new e-mails.


This is based on a real, sophisticated scam that is happening now. Do not fall prey to the fake ‘Comcast Cable” phone call Scammers!