Phone-scam alert: West Seattleite gets the ‘Windows’ call

Not a new scam, but in case you or someone you know hasn’t heard about it – Maria wants to make sure you’re aware the scammers/”phishers” are out there again right now, trying to get you on the line. Read ahead for her report:

Just wanted to make everyone aware of a phone scam. I received a call at about 4:30 pm today from a number (206) 395-2039 asking for my husband by name. My husband wasn’t home so I tried to get his information so I could pass it on. The caller had a very thick accent from India and said his name was “Ryan Wilson, calling from the IT department regarding your windows computer. We have been receiving warning threats from your computer but I’m calling to guide you through the process to correct it.”

I told him that I didn’t believe him and he said, “go online now to to check out our company and I can walk you through the process.”

I told him that i don’t believe him and that it was a scam because I have a Mac computer, all he said was..”but you had a Windows computer before” then he hung up.

I checked out the website but before I could get into the site, a warning message says it was a “phishing site.”

I called the number the caller had provided me (it also showed on my caller ID) but the message says this person is not available or outside of the calling area.

I hope this warning prevents scammers like these from taking advantage of our hard-working brothers and sisters.

Here’s a discussion about this on

11 Replies to "Phone-scam alert: West Seattleite gets the 'Windows' call"

  • Ruth October 12, 2011 (9:23 pm)

    Wow! The exact same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago on my home phone line. Same accent and clumsy script-reading from the “IT Department” about my “Windows computer.” I knew it was a scam but I was curious. He wanted me to log on to his site so he could remotely check out my computer to find the “problem.” I couldn’t hang up fast enough to dispel the uneasy feeling of nasty greed stretching all the way from the other side of the world.

    Another scam is going on that I wonder if it’s WS-based — some party got hold of a file that linked my cell phone number, street address and email address. I got a weird call on my cell about my home address and then I started getting spam referencing my home address — wanting to buy my house.

  • Ken October 13, 2011 (5:55 am)


    Now, it has revoked the “Gold” status of one of its partners, India-based support firm Comantra, following reports it was cold-calling potential victims.

    “We were made aware of a matter involving one of the members of the Microsoft Partner Network acting in a manner that caused us to raise concerns about this member’s business practices,” a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. “Following an investigation, the allegations were confirmed and we took action to terminate our relationship with the partner in question and revoke their Gold status.”

    The pool of potential victims is too vast for other companies to resist though and with the cost of voip from many places so low from India there will be more and even rogue employees doing personal profit schemes via corporate rate phone equipment.

    These cannot be shut down in India and even here the “double-my-speed-dot-com” scam is legal and a regular advertiser on local radio.

    Caveat Emptor

  • Jason October 13, 2011 (6:59 am)

    One thing you can do is burn up their time and play along: Go along with what they say, but don’t do anything they say. Click on your keyboard keys and surf the net while they think you’re setting your computer up for them to remotely access it. Play stupid. Make them repeat their instructions over and over. Tell them you don’t want your computer sending threats and you want to help as much as possible. If you’ve got the time, waste theirs. It can be quite humorous. :)

  • WSMom October 13, 2011 (7:21 am)

    I have received two calls on my cell at 5:00 in the morning regarding my Wells Fargo debit card or something. Very annoying!!

  • Brandon October 13, 2011 (8:46 am)

    @ Jason, I agree with you if they feel the need to try to scam you, then by all means waste their time so they have less time to scam the next person who might actually fall for it.

  • furor scribendi October 13, 2011 (9:01 am)

    The Wells Fargo calls go on and on! I’ve called the Seattle Police Dept who are looking into it…..

  • daniel October 13, 2011 (11:07 am)

    RE: Wells Fargo scam, please call the toll free number on the back of your card and report these incidents to Wells Fargo. They have WAY more ability to combat this scam than the local police.

  • Jim P. October 13, 2011 (12:16 pm)

    Oh these people are so much fun to string along! I’ve been working computers longer than most of these folks have been alive and I can make them dance trying to convince me they have even the slightest idea about my system.

    Since they can’t even identify the most basic info about the system they claim to be “investigating” it gets to be fun listrening to them try to find a place in their script to handle my questions:

    “What IP address did you ping? Try a traceroute and give me the TTL it reports and any drops.”

    “I have many computers, what workgroup and wsid name are you checking?”

    “Well, if you can’t tell me those, what MAC address are you seeing?” (This last one gets them every time as it has nothing to do with Apple products and everything to do with their pretend “problem”..)

    Any of those questions will bring them to a screeching halt as they neither know the answer or in most cases do not even understand the questions.

    Remember, unless you have a *very* high end service agreement with Microsoft or your equipment vendor, they aren’t about to call you first about a problem on your system.

    A very few ISPs are proactive enough to reach out to you if your machine shows signs of being compromised and turned into a ‘bot, but the caller will know who you are by name and the name of the ISP and they *won’t* send you to some oddball web site. They’ll mostly tell you they are cutting off your access until you fix the problem. It isn’t something that can be done over the phone or remotely.

  • george October 13, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    My favorite response to these are when they ask for the serial number. My serial number goes like this: If you see Kay, U.

  • george October 13, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    The other annoying one is the “This is your credit card department calling for the last time about your account. We sent you several warnings already. If you want to lower your credit card rate blah.blah.blah…

  • WS Suzanne October 13, 2011 (11:56 pm)

    George — that’s my serial number too… Amazing. It’s the one piece of information I’m willing to share with these low lifes.

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