My local region in Australia is being targeted by a scam whereby victims are cold-called and told that their computer is sending 'errors' to caller at 'Windows' which should be fixed ASAP, and they are standing by to help out with a remote-access session to fix it.
It's not clear that there is any particular attack being carried out with the remote-access session (probably there are many companies trying the scam on). There's the actual sting of paying for the 'service' by credit-card, likely transfers of browser-cache files, and some reports of trojans. Let your imagination go wild.
It seems clear that one way or another, organisied crime is paying good money to harvest pwned machines. Out comes the white pages, and the call centres get to work.
What is frustrating is that there seems to be very little recourse an alert would-be-victim can take to get back at the operators (other than wasting their time, which usually involves wasting one's own - some people have also suggested keeping a loud whistle near the phone). The caller-id information (that's what we call it in .au) is witheld - possibly the number is just from a pool of VoIP gateway numbers anyhow.
It seems unlikley that the Australian government can successfully prosecute and shut down all overseas operators of the scam.
It would seem like other protections will have to be put in place to counter what is doubtless going to be a growing phenomneon. Something that's crowd-sourced, statistical, and dynamic, most likely. As an example, one might impose on telcos that if a user presses some key sequence during a call, the call legs are flagged as being a 'suspicious' call. Maybe a recording of the conversation can be made as well, to automatically collect evidence for public prosecutions?
What measures - which I could lobby my local politician for the government to adopt - would be useful in hindering this kind of social attack?