Monday, December 26, 2011

Can't catch me! The zfsendtotarget telemarketing scam

By posting this, I hope I can help you avoid the same "zfsendtotarget" telemarketing scammers that tried to catch me.

I submitted the following complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today:

The caller said she had information that my computer was infected, and she was calling to help fix it. She said she had a secure code from my computer. She said the secure information had been given to her company from Microsoft. She said her company employs Microsoft and Cisco certified technicians.

She reached me on my home landline, which is in the National Do-Not-Call registry.

I asked for her name and company. She identified herself as "Rose" from Zion Technology. There was a delay (latency) in the call that sounded like an offshore company. I heard other voices in the background that sounded like a call center.

I asked for her company's street or mailing address, or any other contact information she was able to give. I said I believed she was legally required to give me this information, but she did not give me any other contact information. I do not have caller ID on my phone.

She asked me to start my Windows computer and go through a series of steps: Start menu > Run > cmd > assoc

She called my attention to this line on my screen:


She then read aloud that same series of numbers and letters, and claimed that this proves their company already has access to my personal computer data. This statement was false. By researching quickly online, I found that the number she read to me is actually the same on all Windows computers.

Next she asked me to do these steps: Start menu > Run > cmd > eventvwr. She asked me if I saw this on my screen: Event Viewer > Custom View > Windows Log. I did not answer that question, but instead tried to delay her by claiming that my computer was not an English language computer and I could not answer her question. I did not want to reveal anything that might help her compromise my system.

I said I was willing to keep going, but only if she told me the web site of her company. She did not answer, but instead pressed on asking me to follow her instructions

I then told her that I was aware of this web site:
and said I believed she was not telling me the truth about the secure code. I asked her again for the contact information for her company. She cursed me ("your are a bullshit") and hung up.

After filling the FTC online form, the FTC web site gave me this additional info:

If you have done the above steps and have any additional questions or any additional information you would like to add to your file, please call 877-382-4357 to speak with a counselor. When you call, please have this reference number: ******** to help us quickly retrieve your information.

I don't blame the caller. She is just a corporate wage slave like the rest of us. And if you read the Guardian article, you'll see they really are selling something - an antivirus product, probably marked up 500%. It's just that they violated Federal law at least twice - by lying on a telemarketing call, and refusing to give contact info.

I hope this might help you avoid the zfsendtotarget scam!

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