Friday, April 12, 2013

Computer Phone Call Scam Comes to France--PSA

This really is a departure for me and my little blog, but I had to write it for you today.


This morning I received a phone call on my French land line. I usually don't answer it at all because it's mostly French telemarketers, and who wants to deal with telemarketers in their own language, much less one you barely, by the skin of your teeth, understand? Not me.
I answered though, because I thought it might be important. Can't say why, 'cause I don't know.

The first thing that was totally off about it was that the person on the other end began speaking. And I could understand him. I could understand him because he was speaking English; heavily accented call-center English, but nonetheless. It didn't make sense. People who call my French number do not speak English.
It freaked me out!

His spiel rolled out like this:

Him: 'Good morning madame. I am calling because we have detected a very serious problem with your computer and I would like to help you fix it.'

Me: 'Uhm, why are you speaking English?'

Him: 'Because English is the universal language and I am allowed to speak English.' (weird. allowed?)

Me: 'But you are calling my French number. How do you know I understand English?'

Him: 'Because we have access to your computer files and we can see that the language setting is English.' (WTW) That just means WTF in a nice way.

Me: 'Hold on for a moment please.'

This is the moment I ran downstairs and handed the call over to my computer-savvy, technology-job-having, work-from-home (merci!) genius of a very skeptical husband.

The problem with me is, usually I'm all trusting, expecting marigolds and kindness to be the thrown at me like sunshine. P-Daddy does not. And since I had a weird feeling because of the English talking and Mr. Call Center being able to see into my computer thing, I deferred.

P-Daddy asked all the right questions and strung the scammer along, delivering the final coup de grace when he asked if he had a number where he could call him back after giving this invasion into our personal computers some thought. The guy from 'Computer Maintenance Service Department' at some adjunct of 'Windows' did not like this question. P-Daddy was getting to him. He does that.

Mr. Call Center said he didn't have a number where he could be reached and that maybe P-Daddy was 'wasting his time'. Wasting his time?! No joke.

After a quick Google, I discovered that this is a well-known scam in the US, a throw-back from a couple of years ago, only now finding its sinister way to European shores. I wonder if they have a French-speaking division. If you get a phone call about your CLS id, HANG UP! I'm sorry. Didn't mean to shout. But, really. Don't give them anything.

Here's one of the articles I found for your perusal.

And here's a marigold. There's some kindness is thrown in there too.
Bon weekend.

{Yellow French Marigold}


  1. Yup, they called us too, I had same exact reaction down to the passing the phone to my also work at home tech savvy husband:) ....SKETCHY!

  2. Thanks for the warning. I'll just tell them to eff the eff off. :)

  3. Thanks for the heads up. Have not received a call like that here in USA and will share with our guests at our house in Sablet. Have a great weekend.

  4. Got the call. I ultimately called Mr. Bangalore Call Center a liar. I'm wasting HIS time??? Yet one of our most tech savvy friends fell for it. He 'fessed up as an object lesson.

  5. Dodgyness is everywhere! You can't be too careful.
    I can totally see you marigolding someone into a breakdown. You'd invite the scammer in, cook them something awesome, serve them some rosé. Then they'd break down, sobbing, "I just can't do it, she's too nice". It worked for Snow White with the Huntsman. You kill 'em with kindness.
    I wuv you, Aidan! x x

  6. Thanks for sharing! And trust me, I know where you're coming from. These scammers never fail to annoy me, too. They have all the ways to get somebody else's phone number and harass them with calls. Even at , the complaints against telemarketers top the list.

    I wonder, why can't the authorities do something more effective in controlling, if not stopping, these telemarketing violations?

  7. We've had several of these and my husband just loves to wind them up! Let's the guy go on and on about the problems, that it's Window based etc. etc. But as soon as you say you work on a Mac he hangs up! It was covered on BBC a while ago when the techie reporter recorded the call, Man from Bangalore called his own supervisor to rant at reporter for time wasting - have they no morals? Sharon

  8. Thanks a lot, I didn't know about this scam. Usually I am very diffident and do not trust, but it is better to be informed.
    I do not have P-Daddy!

  9. I haven't had anything like that yet. My last hopeful caller made the mistake of offering me funeral insurance when I had sinusitis. He was told he'd need funeral insurance if he called me again. I don't think he will.....

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