I’ve just received several calls from a service claiming to represent Microsoft. The callers all said that my computer was in grave danger of being hacked, and then the callers wanted me to go online and do everything they said. Before things went any further, I asked one of the callers for the name of their company. She provided it, I Googled it, and I immediately discovered that the whole thing was, of course, a scam.
In the future, here’s what I would advise such scammers to do, to increase their credibility:
1. When you cold-call someone, you should open by saying, “We’re calling only the most physically attractive PC users in your area.”
2. Google told me that many of these scams originate in India. Everyone who called me did have an Indian accent.These callers should have said, “I realize that while I may sound Indian, it’s because I’m just practicing my accent for my role as Indira Gandhi in a one-person show here in Illinois.”
3. If a person like me is reluctant to go online and begin following orders, the scammer should start saying things like, “So what’re you so scared of, little fraidy cat ballerina pussy boy? ”
4. If by the third call, the scammer still isn’t making any headway, the scammer should start to cry and ask, “Why do you hate me?”
5. The scammer might try an alternate pitch, like, “Not only am I going to keep your computer secure, but I’m also going to help you to lose those last ten pounds and meet the man of your dreams! In fact, he’s here with me right now! And he just told me, ‘I can’t wait to meet Paul, and take him on a glamorous date to a popular celebrity nitespot, once his computer is secure!”
6. As a last resort, the scammer should say, “Okay, you’re right, this is a scam. But it doesn’t change how I feel about you. Because I love you. I love you. I love you so much. There, I’ve said it. Now let’s get started.”