Today, I received a call from a company that was claiming that my computer was infected by a virus. The representative of the company told me over the phone that since I was a genuine customer of Microsoft, being that I have bought Microsoft 7 last year and that I have completed the forms destined to make me a genuine customer of Microsoft, that I was eligible for him to support me throughout the phone until the issue would be completely removed from my computer ( he didn’t tell me at that point that I would have to pay for the service that he was offering me ). So, within believing him that my computer had a problem, I followed his suggestions whereas he guided me to specific places within my computer system in order to convince me that I in fact had a problem with my computer.
So, the representative guided me to the services program within my windows 7 application in order to show me that I had in fact a serious problem with my computer. In order to do this, he first guided me to a web page in order for me to download a software that would enable the representative to manipulate the cursor of my computer remotely. Now, this rang a bell within my mind whereas I then became suspicious of his intentions. I told the representative that I didn’t want to participate within his endeavour any longer as I felt that I was being led astray by the representative. He then told me that the program would not harm my computer and I thus again feel for his trick whereas I eventually downloaded the program that would enable him to manipulate my computer from a distance. I thought to myself that I would see where that would lead me and decided to give him a chance. So, I downloaded the program.
Once the program was installed, he showed me the errors that were in the event viewer page of the “services” application from within my computer, as he manipulated the cursor from a distance and went to the services application. From within the application, he showed me all of the errors that were present within the “event viewer” page – as a strategy to make me feel worried about the computer’s situation just so as to make me bite even harder on the hook that he was throwing to me. I complied with the guy and actually believed him more that there was in fact a problem with my computer.
Now, I have relative good knowledge of how a computer works, being that I have studied in computer programming as well as networking. So, at first glance, those errors that the representative showed me weren’t really a concern for me since I have seen them in the past whereas they were no way critical to the good functioning of the system. However, being that I was in a state of mind of receptivity with the company’s representative, I allowed myself to believe what the guy was telling me over the phone – being that he told me that those errors that I saw were critical to the well being of my computer and that the computer could crash at any moment because of those errors. So, without having the time to analyse the situation with common sense, I fell for the trick that the company’s representative wanted me to fall for.
So, he continued his odyssey in trying to sell me the idea that my computer had a problem, through him guiding me to the “task manager” application in order to show me just how my computer was being affected by the virus. He guided me to the page from the task manager where we could see the processes being executed within the moment. There, we saw that the computer’s cpu was working at about 4% of it’s potential. Now, there is where he really fooled me, because I actually know that when the processes of a computer’s cpu are this low, it’s only because there are no huge working applications that are currently running in the background. However, I was under his hypnotic influence and actually believed what he was telling me. He thus told me that the system was running low because of the effects of the virus within my computer – bullshit. But the problem was that I fell for it!!!
So, thinking that I did in fact had a serious problem, he then told me that I would have to pay for an anti-virus software that he was trying to sell me. I abided to his claim and actually followed him to the web site that was designed to fill out the information regarding my credit card and shipping address.
Now, there was a “divine” intervention of some sorts because the system wasn’t working, as everytime I hit the submit button, after having filled the form with all of my relevant shipping information, an error would appear telling me that the transaction wasn’t completed because of a problem with the shipping information not being equal to the shipping information that was inscribed within my bank account.
So, the representative told me to call my bank in order to verify that the shipping address was valid. So I called the bank and verified that everything was indeed valid – however, the problem persisted so the representative told me to use another credit card, to which I told him that I hadn’t any other credit card. He then told me to try and get the credit card of my wife to which I told him to call me back this next Sunday because it was getting late and that I had to leave for Toronto in a few minutes from then. So, he told me that he would call me back this next Sunday at the same time in order to complete the transaction so that he could send me the anti-virus software that would fix my problem.
After the call ended, I went to the internet in order to find out more information on the errors that I was getting in the services application. There, I realised that the error was nothing to worry about, as it was only linked to the fact that my peripherals, such as a printer, weren’t working = which was the case since I do not have a printer connected to my computer. So, I then realised the dishonesty of the representative and felt relieved that I hadn’t paid the guy 99$ that he was requesting for the anti-virus software that he tried to sell me.
One thing that bothered me was that as we were talking over the phone, I told him that I already had an anti-virus software in my computer – Mcafee anti-virus. However, he replied to me that the anti-virus software that I had probably wasn’t compatible with my computer. Thus he guided me to the properties of the anti-virus software that I had and showed me, under the compatibility tab, that the software was only valid under windows vista, as windows vista was selected under the “scroll down menu” as the system from which the anti-virus software was working.
So, when the call ended, I went back to the properties of the anti-virus software and checked again at the compatibility tab in order to see if I could select another operating system for the anti-virus software to work under. Thus, I realise that I could select Windows 7, which is my operating system, from under the “scroll down menu” next to the compatibility option. So, I then realise just how much I had almost been tricked into buying something that I didn’t need.
Will do self-forgiveness on this tomorrow.