Video: Malware threat by antivirus scammer exposed on virtual machine

Noah Magram, principal software engineer at security vendor Sourcefire, was called while at home by a fake antivirus company. He decided to see exactly what they do when a person grants access, only he gave them access to a virtual machine so as to keep his PC secure (7:57 min).

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Video: hilarious satire of cold-calling Indian pitching a two-bit, tinhorn, half-pie, end-of-the-pier, strictly-for-the-birds script.

Satirical video of typical, trashy telemarketing operation in India. Worth a laugh (3:41 minutes).

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‘Boiler room’ hoax for New Zealand share holders -nz

The pitch
Fraudsters posing as reps for a legitimate Japanese company, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Corporation, are cold-calling investors. “The callers are very clever and persuasive,” says Ministry of Consumer Affairs Team Leader Jarrod Rendle. “They make offers that are very hard to resist. Add to that an impressive website and documentation that appears genuine and even the most seasoned investor is at risk of being taken in.”

s_falkow: flickr

The warning comes after a Wellington man was approached, offering to buy his “penny shares” in a United States firm. The catch was that they wanted $3000 up-front to “clear” the transaction. The man believes the scammers got his cellphone number from an overseas shareholder register. This makes their approach all the more plausible and they have sophisticated, cloned website of the actual company.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) advises the safest way to buy shares in overseas companies is through a registered New Zealand broker, who is responsible under New Zealand law. You can check a caller’s credentials for free on the Financial Service Providers Register or by calling the FMA. The FMA also has information on how to invest safely, publishes the names of firms that have tried to scam people in New Zealand, as well as a list of the official-sounding agencies scammers use to try to prove their authenticity.

Background info
This warning comes from a cross-agency working group that was formed to share resources and better identify and publicise consumer fraud and scams. It is chaired by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and includes the Department of Internal Affairs‘ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit and non-government organisation Netsafe.

• For cyber safety advice visit
• For info on spam, or to report email, fax or text spam go to
• For more info on scams visit
• For details of those on the Financial Service Providers Register visit, or call the FMA on 0800 434 556, or visit


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Firms keep testing the limits of Do-Not-Call list -us

Adapted from Mark Mayes article, columnist / Lansing State Journal

Question: When is telemarketing not telemarketing, when it’s advertising?
Answer: No, that’s what unscrupulous cold callers want us to believe—but they’re wrong.

Scott McLeod: flickr

Rosemary Wade of Grand Ledge had an especially annoying encounter on Monday at — surprise, surprise — right around dinner time. Mrs Wade interrupted the caller, and told her she was on the Do-Not-Call list and asked the telemarketer not to call again. Then she hung up. Within seconds, the phone rang again.

“The woman told me, ‘For your information, we are not subject to the Do-Not-Call list. We are not soliciting. We are in advertising. We are calling to let you know about our product, not to sell it. You were rude to hang up on me.’ ” Mrs Wade told the woman she needed to get off the phone and asked her not to call again. The phone rang another time from the same number so she ignored it.

Advertising is telemarketing
Mitch Katz, public affairs specialist for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that operates and enforces the Do-Not-Call Registry said telemarketers provide many excuses to callers as to why they are exempt from the rules, such as they found the phone number on the Internet or some other advertising list. However, once someone is on the Do-Not-Call list — and more than 210 million people have signed up nationwide — the rules are clear and limited. For the record, advertising is telemarketing. The persistence of the caller doesn’t surprise Mitch Katz, public affairs that operates and enforces the Do-Not-Call Registry. “That’s just a way they’re trying to get around the regulatory rules,” Katz said. “They are selling a product. Advertising is a way to sell a product.”

Robo-marketing – a law unto themselves
Fred Copple of Williamston also emailed me this week questioning why he keeps getting robocalls, or pre-recorded telemarketing calls, from credit card companies. He’s on the Do-Not-Call list but can’t get them to stop. Katz said the FTC is fighting to stop those companies still making unsolicited commercial robocalls, which are illegal even for those not on the Do-Not-Call list. “Robocalls were essentially banned in 2009.”

Make a difference… make a complaint
Katz encourages those who sign up on the registry but continue to get calls to file a complaint. The phone number is 888-CALL-FCC (225-5322) and the website is Callers should note the phone number of the caller, identify the individual and/or company that called and provide a description of the call. A mailing address and fax number, as well as other information, are available at: Companies can receive stiff penalties for persistent violations…up to $16,000 per violation per day.

Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Federal T...
Washington, D.C. Federal Trade Commission: Wikipedia

How to register
People can sign up for the Do-Not-Call list at or by calling 888-382-1222. Those registering by phone must call from the phone number they wish to register.


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Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) fines firms $945,000 for no-call violations

By JEFF AMY for the Associated Press: covers the economy, state government, health care, education and demographics in Mississippi.

Not only are those telemarketing robocalls from “card services” annoying, they’re also illegal if you’ve signed up for a federal or state “do not call” list.

Mississippi Public Service Commission, Jackson:

Mississippi utility regulators Tuesday fined a California telemarketer $945,000, in an effort to get such calls to stop. It’s the largest fine that the Mississippi Public Service Commission has ever issued against a telemarketer.

The order was issued against Roy M. Cox Jr. of Santa Ana, Calif., and five companies he controls. The commission said Cox broke Mississippi’s law against unwanted telephone solicitations 189 times in the last four years.

 Full article and MPSC Press release links below
Read more:
Press release:
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Interview with the man behind Comantra, the “cold call virus scammers”

If you live in a western country and have a landline telephone with a listed phone number, chances are you’ve been “cold called” by someone on the other side of the world with an introduction that goes something like this: “Hello, I am from the Microsoft technical support division and I am calling you because we have detected some problems with your computer. This is very important – I need you to go and turn your computer on right away…”

Invariably the cold caller asks you to access your computer’s ‘Event Viewer’ so they can show you the (trumped-up) “threats” to your computers security. Or else they will angle towards an expired ‘windows warranty’ on your operating system.

Troy Hunt, a software architect interviewed Rajesh Bajaj, the ‘director’ of Comantra, one of the number of organisations running this scam. Mr Bajaj claims that Comantra is a victim of bad press; an organised reputation assault. Read the interview, follow the links; you be the judge.

Read more:

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Cold calling percentages

Replace the cold call with … ANYTHING!

Jeffrey Gitomer: I am sick of the argument that cold calling still has a valuable place in selling. Someone PLEASE show me the value.

Experimental "No cold calling area" ...

Experimental “No cold calling area” The roads around Matapan Road are pioneering this initiative. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s look at the facts:

• 98 percent or more rejection rate

• 100 percent interruption of the prospect

• 100 percent they already know what you’re selling

• 100 percent they already have what you’re selling

• 100 percent manipulation to get through to the decision maker

• 100 percent lack of personal preparation about the customer

• Most sales managers could not do what they ask their salespeople to do

• Rejection is the biggest cause of sales personnel turnover

• Ask any salesperson if they’d rather have 100 cold calls or one referral

QUESTION: With these horrid statistics, why do sales managers insist on, even measure, cold call activity and numbers?
ANSWER: I have no earthly idea.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of several sales books and he offers twelve alternatives to cold calling. 

Read more:

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Beware of native language call scams – au

Ask yourself: Is this an in-law or an outlaw calling? 

SCAMwatch (Australia) is advising consumers to beware of scammers who phone requesting money, speaking in the consumer’s native language including Serbian, Croatian, Polish and others. These callers will often say they are calling on behalf of a relative living overseas who needs money for travelling costs or medical bills.

The caller claims to be acting on behalf of an overseas family member or relative who needs money for travel, hospital costs or debts. They say the relative is one you have not met before. One variation is that the caller may pretend to be an immigration official from the Australian Government calling to confirm your relative’s request for money. The scammers most often ask for the money to be sent overseas via an international wire transfer service. It is rare to recover money sent this way.

Be wary of any unexpected contact from someone claiming to be a relative who you don’t know. Always check first with extended family to ensure the person is who they say they are. You can report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.

Read more:

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Prank #36: Is anybody out there?

#36. Is anybody out there? – ΩΩΩ

Prop:                    It might help to set your phone volume to low or have an earplug on standby (or simply stick a finger in your receiving ear).

TELEMARKETER: “Hello, would you be surprised if you didn’t have the best mobile phone rates available?”

ME: “Hello Marka speaking.”

TELEMARKETER: “Hi Marka, we’ve chosen you to enjoy our—”

ME: “Hello is anybody there?”

TELEMARKETER: “Yes, you’ve been chosen to …”

ME: “Can you speak up please; we must have a bad line.”

TELEMARKETER: Louder, “Can you hear me now?”

ME: “Is anybody there? If this is a joke, it’s not very funny…” and so on. Try not to laugh before you hang up.


TELEMARKETER: “Congratulations, we’ve chosen you to enjoy our—”

Mob Mob: flickr

ME: “You’ll have to speak up; I lost my hearing aid.”

TELEMARKETER: Louder, “Yes, you’ve been chosen to—”

ME: “Is that you Maude? I can’t hear you. Have you got your hearing aid in? Maude, is that you? Maude, go and get your hearing aid, you can’t hear me…,”

TELEMARKETER: Louder still, “Can you hear me now?”

ME: “Maude, I can’t hear a thing. Can you hear me? Maude if you’ve got a spare hearing aid can you bring one over? I’ve misplaced mine.” and so on.

Key:                     If the telemarketer is distracting you, hold the phone away from your ear. Enjoy picturing or hearing the telemarketer striving to be heard while answering your queries.


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Prank #15: Edentate (toothless) tiger

#15. Edentate (toothless) tiger – ΩΩ

Andrea Simmons Abbott: flickr

TELEMARKETER: “Hello, my name is Sally/Sid from Stellar—”

ME: Interrupt forcefully emphasising the telemarketer’s name. “Sally, Sally, how many times do I have to tell you Sally? I don’t know where you left your dentures, and you can’t borrow mine. Just suck soup till you can see the dentist.” Then cradle the phone.

Key:                     Do not listen to the telemarketer’s attempt to correct you, as Sid or Sally may disrupt you. Be forceful in your interruption of the cold caller, state their name strongly, then quickly and emphatically say what you have to and get off the line.

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