Beware: Spam Moving to the Telephone

Last Updated Dec 10, 2009 9:49 AM EST

Frustrated by tons of spam in your inbox? Well watch out, because it might be metamorphasizing, like an ugly caterpillar that becomes a horrifically annoying butterfly, into unsolicited phone calls.

I received a very unusual call a few nights ago. When I answered the phone -- which reported a blocked number -- the caller told me that she was contacting Windows users to help fix problems that caused the computer to run slowly. Why not, I thought? I'll bite.


Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to sit through the entire call, since I was trying to watch the series finale of Monk. But she started by asking me to enter eventvwr in the Start menu's Run box. This opened the Event Viewer, a tool I kind of knew about but never use. She asked me to drill down to an error report. When I got there, I found there were a lot of errors, which might have looked scary to the uninitiated, but my general sense was that these were fairly routine and inconsequential errors that Windows routinely tracks but have essentially no impact on the performance of your PC.

At this point, she launched into what was probably some sort of sales script. I heard her babbling, and saw Monk freeze-framed on my TV. I voted for Monk and hung up, but immediately regretted it. Now I might never know exactly what this call was about. Some sort of scam? But what sort?

Has anything like this happened to you? Any theories about what the heck this was all about? I'd love to hear about it. Tell your story in the comments so we can find out of some new scourge is on its way.