The “Call (076) 888 8443” scam

Here’s a dodgy pop-up I saw today:

To be honest, I find this particular pop-up kind of beautiful. It’s a work of art. In fact, I like it so much that I’m going to describe each aspect of it in obsessive detail.

Dialog box

The first thing that hits you is an endless stream of dialog boxes like this one:

This is a bit annoying if you’re using Chrome, because Chrome doesn’t let you close the tab or change tabs while a dialog box is open. So what do you do? Simply tick “Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs” and that puts an end to the dialog boxes.

But underneath all the dialog boxes is a fake dialog box. It even has a fake “Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs” button!

I clicked the fake OK button to see what would happen. This page appeared:

This screen is even weirder than the first one. There’s the Unity logo (software for making computer games). Also, the fake error message looks like something from Unity too. However, the background looks like a system BIOS or boot process. Weird.

I also noticed there’s a different phone number on this page. This one is (0)199-346-0018.

System tray dialog box

Let’s go back to the first webpage. As well as the fake dialog box, the webpage displays a fake system tray dialog box that looks like this:

So according to this, not only does my computer have a ‘virus’ but it also can’t install definition updates! My computer must really be fucked.

Blue screen of death

In the background of the webpage there’s a blue screen of death (BSOD). In the background. Jesus Christ. Whoever falls for these scams must be a fucking retard.

Windows defender

‘Windows Defender’ is there too. Of course it is. This webpage has everything. The scammer’s mentality is to just throw every single scary thing at you in a big illogical mix, and hope you shit your pants and call their number.

Stephen Hawking’s voice

On top of all this you’ve got Stephen Hawking telling you how bad the situation is. The recording says, “Critical alert from Microsoft. Your computer has alerted us that it is infected with virus and spyware.” I downloaded the mp3 file so you can play it back to your heart’s content:

Fake mouse cursor

My favourite thing of all is the fake mouse cursor. It moves around the webpage to make you think a hacker has control of your computer. To add to the illusion, your own mouse cursor disappears when you scroll over the page.

If all this were real then my computer really would be fucked: it has a blue screen of death, and a virus, and a hacker has control of my mouse, AND Windows can’t install definitions. It’s like computer armageddon. It’s like I said: beautiful.

One thought on “The “Call (076) 888 8443” scam

  • April 24, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve come across this one a few times, and it irritates me so much that I’ve even tried calling the number, just to ask them what in the name of God are they on about, but the numbers don’t even ring through …

    I’m just curious, if this is the case, is it done just purely to annoy people? How can anyone conceivably make money from it?

    Would really appreciate your thoughts, as it has me baffled!


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