Tech support call scammers typically prey on computer owners with limited technical knowledge. They ramble on and on and blurt off a laundry list of meaningless computer phrases and jargon in hopes of confusing their victims into giving away their credit card information. They're fairly easy to spot but they cast a wide enough net to reel in potential targets.
One tech vigilante has had enough of these phone scammers so he or she devised a way to fight off, or at least annoy them - winning the admiration of internet keyboard warriors around the globe.
Nicole Mayhem's Call Flooder
Our hero in question, a YouTuber who goes by the handle "Nicole Mayhem," has managed to turn the tables on these unscrupulous tech support scammers by creating an automated bot that floods their phone lines with fake calls.
The automated fake calls reportedly hog their phone lines so much that the scammers simply don't have time to victimize real people anymore.
Here's how it works. Whenever a "Support Technician" (read: Mr. Crook) picks up the line, a program starts playing this message:
"Hello, Scammers. Today you have the glorious chance to make a decision. Place down your headset, go home, and this will be over soon. Or, continue to have your lines flooded to prevent you from scamming additional people. This will not stop, unless you stop."
Nicole Mayhem recorded all the phone calls for posterity, of course.
Judging by the YouTube comments and praise Nicole Mayhem is getting, his or her efforts are much appreciated by cyber denizens.
It certainly looks like this tech vigilante (read: hero) is saving the world, one tech support scam call at a time.
How to protect against tech support scams:
Tech support scams are nothing new, they've been evolving for years. In an effort to help users avoid these scams, Microsoft suggests following these rules:
- If you receive an unsolicited email message or phone call that purports to be from Microsoft (or any legit company) and requests you send personal information or click links, ignore or report the email, or hang up the phone. Click here to learn how to report a phishing email to Microsoft.
- Reminder: Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request for personal or financial information, or fix your computer.
- Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
- Download software only from official websites, or official App Stores. Avoid downloading from third-party sites, they are not as secure as official sites.
- Enable Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10. It detects and removes known support scam malware.