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  • “I’ve Been Threatened by a Phone Scammer”

“I’m very scared and concerned after I got a call this weekend from a man claiming to represent Microsoft computers. The man had a thick indian accent and he asked me to log onto my computer, go to site {URL REMOVED} and download a program. I knew right away that he was a con artist and I told him I want proof that he works for Microsoft. That’s when he called me a {REMOVED} and threatened violence against me and my children. I don’t want any more threatening calls from this man.”

Marie S. Toronto, ON

That is indeed a concerning call, and you’re right to be skeptical and avoid playing into the caller’s requests. Most likely the site he was directing you towards contained a “back door Trojan”, a program that allows someone to discreetly access your computer to steal personal info.

really angry phone rage

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Among all internet fraud attempts, these are the most concerning because they may have access to your address and some of your information already.

  • Never engage these people directly. If you’re skeptical of a call, attempt to disengage from the call immediately without provoking them.
  • Many of these scammers get frustrated at the slightest resistance, knowing they can unleash it on you without reprieve. Try to avoid language or tone that might make them verbally attack or threaten you.
  • If you’re concerned about your identity, provide them with a false name. This increases the chance they will give up if they think their lead is incorrect. But…
  • Never give them a friend or family member’s name instead. That will only redirect their efforts at someone else. Thinking up a fake name under pressure can be tough, so it’s cool to keep a fake “alias” on hand just for these moments.
  • Threats are serious business. If you feel the person on the other end is threatening you, make sure to record the number used and report it to the authorities.

While we can’t say in good confidence that your case is unlikely to result in an actual reprisal from an angry scammer – the truth is that most of these threats are idle. Phone scammers are predatory by nature, and if they can’t prey on your wallet, they will resort to attacking you directly.

We encourage you to contact the authorities regarding the threats, as they are a serious matter – whether or not they’re real or a bluff. If you get further calls from these individuals, it behooves you to disengage before threats are made, and to report them if they happen anyway.

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