by Geoffrey Churchman

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had a Pakistani or Indian sounding voice telling us they are from Spark and we have a problem with our computer. At one time we used to have fun with them, these days we just hang up.

Now a new phone scam has appeared: an automated voice tells you that there have been possible fraudulent charges on your credit card and did you authorize Amazon gift card charges of $800 and $2000? The voice tells you to press ‘1’ for no or ‘2’ for yes. I immediately recognised it as a scam: although bank security people do contact you about suspicious transactions, it’s not like that. It will be a real person, they will ask to speak to the card holder by name, and they have other protocols.

I let this run a little bit to see where it was going. Pressing ‘1’ resulted in a Pakistani sounding real person, who was pretty clearly trying to do the same as the “I’m from Spark” etc. callers do and getting you to go to their website to enter things that help them hack the computer.

You wonder why these people can’t get proper IT jobs, but clearly scamming is more lucrative than that.

More info about the scammers is here.