This is Bob from IT. Your computer is infected.
In 9 dirty tricks: Social engineer's favorite pick up lines, Chris Nickerson, founder of Lares, a Colorado-based security consultancy, explains why this old social-engineering trick is often still successful. He should know, he uses it frequently as a pen tester.
Scammers often take advantage of a timely event, like a high-profile piece of malware that is infecting many computers. The average, non-computer savvy employee gets nervous with the technicality of what the "IT person" on the phone is telling them.
"Eventually, I say 'Look, why don't I fix this for you? Give me your password and I will deal with it and call you back when I am done,'" said Nickerson.
The strategy plays on a person's fear and lack of comfort with tech, said Nickerson.