Telemarketing has always been a way that companies can reach potential customers in some cases and annoy others beyond belief. We are hearing that there is now a sinister side to this and for one resident of Toronto when he picked up his phone, Joel Mantel got more than the annoying telemarketer that he was expecting.
Joel has spoken about his intention to have a little fun with the telemarketer until he answered the phone and was told that the caller was from Microsoft. He continued to tell Joel that he needed to follow some instructions as it had been discovered that there were faults on the computer. Mantel was the wrong person for this scammer to call as he was aware of this happening.
Despite the fact that this scam has been doing the rounds for many years, it seems that people are still falling for it and just accept that they are talking to someone from Microsoft. Once the scammer has gained the confidence of the victim, they are often able to get personal data and as a result the computer will be locked and a fee will have to be paid in order to have it released.
Mantel has spoken about how he still decided to go along with the scam even though he realised what was happening. His previous work as a technician had brought him into contact with people who had fallen for this in the past.
Mantel said “I pretended to follow their instructions just to waste their time and make them frustrated”. He stuck to what he was doing, chatting along with the scammer and tapping the table in place of a computer, and saying how worried he was about the fact that he may have had a virus.
To annoy the scammers and waste more of their time, he then revealed that he knew what they were doing and that it had not worked with him. His father joined in with the ploy, listening in and claiming to be a police officer.
Although there is no way to know what good his experience will be to others, he has taped it all on his iPhone and intends to let future victims hear his experience. He believed that even the length of time he tied this particular person up it prevented someone else getting a call.
It is sad that this story is news as the scam has been around for a number of years, but while some fall for it, it seems that the scammers will continue. A final comment from Mantel is “Protect yourself, ask questions and don’t allow strangers into your home online”