Is it possible to take legal action against phone scammers?

So recently these guys tell me they’re from Dell and they’re calling me because of some issue with my computer. My gut instinct is what the hell, dell never calls me, they wouldn’t give a damn if my computer spontaneously combusted. But this could be legit, who knows so I continued hearing this guy out.

They proceeded to talk about how they received an error message from my computer and they needed me to urgently log in and fix it. Now I have a laptop at home and my sis has a laptop and my mother has a desktop and I ask him what is the serial number of the computer that you think has an issue. Now this woman who I am talking to mumbles some random stuff and repeats my computer has a problem and this time i am adamant, do you have any identifying information about this computer? I even ask, do you know what my name is or what kind of computer model I bought that you have a problem with?

She tells me she needs to transfer me to her manager and now her manager comes on and asks tells me the whole story again and this time I get irritated and ask him the same questions. He proceeds to ignore every request for information and just tells me to login. At this point, I hang up. He calls me back a minute later and somewhat excitedly tells me more bullshit. I forgot what he told me but I wanted to see what exactly he wanted me to do, so I started up my computer and then press start and blah blah and i start to recognize his plan. I interrupt him and ask him, so you want me to do a remote desktop session? He said yes, and I hung up. He called again and I told my mom don’t answer it.

Is there a way to stop these crooks? It sounds like they’re operating outside the country from their foreign accents but I think if someone like my mother answers the phone and hears their urgent instructions they might get conned and lose personal info.

The FTC will take the details of your call and put it into a database. Could help.

Otherwise you can only take legal action if you can identify who it was that called you. That is why these scammers succeed, you can’t pin them down.

It’s possible to take legal action against anyone, but even if you prevail in the case of themouthbreather v. Unidentified Guys With Foreign Accents, good luck collecting.

No, it couldn’t.

Though if anyone wants to show me a time when a computer manufacturer made an unsolicited repair call to a customer, please feel free.

I’m afraid these scam calls are becoming prevalent nowadays. I have received a call like that, too, purportedly from Microsoft. Said they monitored a virus in my computer and that they called to help remove it. But I hung up. Why wouldn’t I? He was from Microsoft but I got a Mac. What was the call for?

Besides, I Googled the phone number and http://www.callercenter.com/206-456-0661.html came up with several complaints associating the phone number to the phone scam.

Either remove the remote desktop executable from your computer or place it in a directory that requires Administrator access to run it, then make sure your mother is running from a basic user account. Making your mother run a basic user account will also prevent her from accidentally loading a lot of crap (when it tries to load, it will ask for an Admin account name and password. When they’re not given, it will fail.)

You can stop a lot of crap from infecting your computer just by never using it in Admin mode.