Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Defeating phishing

By Hobo Hudson

Dad has been plagued with phone calls for quite a while from nice sounding ladies “from Microsoft” telling him he has a major problem with his computer and Microsoft has hired them to help its users fix the problem. However, they all spoke English with a very heavy Indian accent and were difficult to understand.

At first, Dad would just hang up, but I suggested a better solution would be for Dad to try to melt their telephone wires with some choice words that Dad is so capable of using when he wants to get a point across. This didn’t appear to do any good, and my keen terrier mind soon deduced the callers probably didn’t know enough English to know what Dad’s words meant.

After mulling the problem over, I realized the callers were working on percentages. They knew most Americans would know it was a scam and would just hang up, so they would just shrug and go on to the next call. Sooner or later, they would land a victim who was not aware of the plot.

Dad and I put our heads together and came up with a better solution, which I would encourage all my readers to try.

The phone rang Saturday morning, and when Dad answered, a lady with a pleasant voice told him that she was from Microsoft and that the company was trying to repair a problem with Dad’s computer, She spoke perfect English, but there was a trace of a foreign accent which Dad thinks might have been Ukrainian, and Dad decided this would be the perfect moment to put our new plan into effect. I’ll give you the actual conversation below:

Dad: “Could you hold just a moment? I’ve got someone at the door.”
Caller: “Of course.”
Some 5 minutes later: Dad: “Sorry to keep you waiting. Would you please start all over?”
Caller: “As I said, you have a serious problem and Microsoft wants to help you in repairing it. I need you to go sit in front of your computer and I’ll tell you what to do.”
Dad: “All right but I haven’t turned it on yet. Can you wait a few minutes while it boots up?”
Dad now lays the phone down and goes into the kitchen to pour another cup of coffee. Returning some three minutes later, he picks up the phone and says: “Sorry for the delay. I had to crawl under the desk to plug it in.”
Caller: “No problem.”
Dad: “I just started booting.”
Some 10 minutes later: Dad: “OK, it’s booted up. What should I do now?”
Caller: “Click on the browser line and type in the following ……….”
Dad: “OK.” About a minute later, Dad: “I must have typed something wrong. Give it to me again.”
Caller: “……….”
Dad: “Now I see my problem. About another minute later, Dad again: “That’s odd. I have a message from Windows Defender telling me to read the following to you.”
Caller: “O…K.”
Dad: “Get an honest job and stop trying to scam us.”
Caller: Click.

Mom, Dad and I got a big laugh out of this but, more importantly, we kept the scammer tied up for probably 20 minutes and prevented her from calling other prospective suckers. Interestingly, Dad hasn’t had another suspicious phone call for the past few days. Maybe word gets around?

Remember, Microsoft does not telephone users with offers of help and anyone calling is a fake. If all my readers would follow a similar script and pass it on to their friends, we could make a serious dent in the number of computer scams.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A gift idea for the holidays

By Hobo Hudson

A word from the wise to the wise: If you, my fellow dogs and my kitty friends, want to help your parents find a holiday gift for their human family members or friends who already have everything, suggest they order my book “The Richest Dog In Town” at It makes the perfect gift for pet lovers who will welcome it as a good read to relax and laugh after the hectic time of shopping and preparations for the holidays.

Just have your parents click here to place the order.


About Hobo

This was Hobo Hudson, my doggy brother, a little terrier mix with black fur. He became famous after his first attempt at writing stories, which was an article published in the newsletter of our local animal shelter, the same shelter in which I ended up years later before Hobo and his parents adopted me. Hobo’s fame quickly spread as he made a name for himself as a business dog and an adventurer. To keep his memory alive, my doggy sister, my three kitty siblings and I, Wylie Hudson, are continuing his blog. Our mom, the blog’s editor, is publishing a Hobo Hudson adventure in sequences. Click on: Foreign Business Affairs, and enjoy a different kind of pet story that combines suspense, lightheartedness and quirk.

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