Phone scam exploits Russian hacking fears

Well, it makes a change from a regular technical support scam.

Bob covello
Bob Covello

Phone scam exploits Russian hacking fears

Guest contributor Bob Covello describes an unexpected phone call he received out of the blue red.

I recently received one of those phony support scam phone calls.

This was not the usual one where the caller claims to be a Microsoft technician who needs to fix your computer. Rather, the caller, a woman, said that two Russians have connected to my network, and the caller was going to help me fix it.

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

I told her that I seriously doubted what she was telling me.

She then asked me if I knew Dmitry Andreysky or Vladimir Kanavalov (or some other name that she derived from her fake name generator).

I knew it was a scam, so I decided to play along and told her that Dmitry and Vladimir were my buddies. Unfortunately, the caller became annoyed, and said “Well, they are in your house,” and then she hung up.

It seems that the scammers are trying to capitalize on the “Russians are attacking” news headlines.

Most of us in the security industry are very familiar with these scam calls, and some have even taken to making it a hobby of keeping the caller on the line long enough to waste their time in the hopes that it prevents them from targeting a less-suspecting victim.

Sadly, these scams are still effective, as there are many folks who still fall victim to surrendering credit card information for useless services, or allowing a remote hacker to gain access to our PC.

Please remind your friends and family of the following tips to prevent them from falling prey to these scammers:

  • Microsoft, The IRS, and any other government agency will not initiate a call to you to offer services or threaten legal action.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer to any strangers from unsolicited phone calls.
  • Never enrol in computer security, maintenance or warranty programs offered during an unsolicited phone call.
  • Never give credit card information over the phone unless you initiated the phone call.

Stay safe when answering those calls!

Bob Covello (@BobCovello) is a 20-year technology veteran and InfoSec analyst with a passion for security topics. He is also a volunteer for various organizations focused on advocating for and advising others about staying safe and secure online.

2 comments on “Phone scam exploits Russian hacking fears”

  1. Matt

    Well, it's about that time again. We had The Red Scare in the 20's. McCarthyism in the 50's. The Cold War in the 80's. And now Russian State Actors. Roughly every 30 years we get scared of Russia.

  2. pam

    I got same call, hung up said it was a scam and they called right back!

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.