Windows Support Scam

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by fisheromen, May 29, 2017.

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  1. fisheromen

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    I feel extremely foolish admitting this but I fell for the Indian "Windows Support" scam. At the end I would not pay the ransom and my computer was locked up. It is currently in the shop. It was a cold call that started, "I am a technician with Windows and I am calling about a problem with your computer." (heavy accent) Guys name was Mark Miller. (yeah right)

    If you get ANY call and hear an Indian accent saying something about your computer, hang up! I have not been this angry in a good while!

    Hope this will help someone.
     
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  2. bassgalrascal

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    Windows never contacts you by phone. They contact you through your system. I have had viruses attack my computer before though. I let my malware protection lapse and fell for a Adobe Flashware update alert. I managed to get rid of that on my own. Also one got into our dualsport forum and reeked havoc. I had to send the computer out to unhack it that time. I run Webroot malware protection these days. It is very effective, and I haven't had any problems for a few years now.
     
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  3. Larry M

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    I get these calls all the time, that my computer has a virus or malware. I just tell them that I'm an IT technical, but that doesn't always stop them. Sometimes they will ask how I would stop such a such virus or malware, I just tell them that I'm not going to tell them what I do to fix the problem. It's funny when they keep trying. I then say no thanks and hang up.
    I don't have a life. LOL
    Also when home improvement people call I just tell them that I'm a contractor.
     
    #3 Larry M, May 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  4. Larry M

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    I use www.zookaware.com.
    They have different programs to choose from, 24/7 out of Anchorage Alaska.
    I've been using them for years. They have taken over my computer and solve my problems.
    Once you are signed up you can scan your computer on your own with their different programs. It also will scan automatically and install updates.
     
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  5. Bobber

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    Hackers saying they were "Windows" popped up on me a couple days ago. I think it was one of those "lock it up" things. I shut things down so quickly I didn't even read the whole thing. Why would Windows contact someone to begin with?

    In addition to my anti-virus I use Hitman Pro. It's free the first time you use it and after saving my roommates and then my computer I decided we needed to put out the $20 a year and install it. We have both had it for at least about 4 years. Wonderful product. I also use CC Cleaner and have for many years. It's a free registry cleaner.
     
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  6. fisheromen

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    With the above comments I probably should give more of my story. It started several months ago with the cold call. My computer was acting up and running very slowly, so I believed the agent was from windows and was calling to help. He actually did help. He worked on my computer for over an hour and installed several support programs; Webroot, CC cleaner, a defrag program, an anti-hack program and a couple others. My computer was working incredibly well! "Mark Miller" even gave me a phone number and an email address to reach him. Oh, and BTW I had paid $300 for lifetime support.

    The next day another Indian agent called to tell me that Mark Miller had been fired for embezzlement and that he would be taking care of me. He asked me how much MM had charged me. Oh my, he had pocketed $100. This "good Indian" was going to refund the $100 to my paypal account. He bought up "my" PP account and ask me to read to him how much he had refunded. I read $1000! (I later found out that this was a screen shot and not my account as all) The "good indian" then went into panic mode, "oh my God, did I hit too many zeros??? I gave you $1000???" "Sir, I beg of you to help me make this right... I will lose my job!!!" He gave me an address and instructed me to go into town and have $900 sent to him via a cash card. The only businesses he gave me were other "foreign" owned establishments. (my observation)

    He had hooked a big fish, but I was not going for it. He literally begged and pleaded for me to do this. I thought I was in some kind of big trouble at this point and hung up! I then called Mark Miller. He answered the phone. I said "you were not fired?" He said "what are you talking about?" He assured me all was well and that this other guy was trying to scam me. He gave me a customer ID number and instructed me that I should always ask for this when anyone called.

    I then checked my PP account and found there had been no activity there. In retrospect, I feel that all parties were working in collusion.

    The next day the "good indian" called me and greeted me cheerfully and asked if I was ready to get his money back to him. I used a few adjectives before scammmer and hung up on him! Another Indian called back and threatened me. I used the same names (no profanity) and hung up on him. I wondered how these other Indians new of my payment to MM, especially when the next phase of the ploy kicked in.

    Now I get a call saying that the business was dissolving and they want to refund all my money. I asked for the customer ID#. They asked "who gave you that number?", and went back to the story that MM had been fired. I called him the appropriate names and hung up.

    A month passes and MM had helped me a couple of times. I thought I had actually made a contract with a ligit company and that MM was actually a good Indian.

    Then he, MM, called me and said my computer was in trouble. He showed me a couple places on my computer that confirmed his diagnosis and told me my windows certificate had expired. I could renew it for 1 year, three years or lifetime ( for this and all computers I would ever own.) Now I don't trust MM!!! I told him that I wanted to research this and he made it look like my certificate ran out right then and there, and my computer would no longer work, unless, of course, I renewed my Windows Certificate. I hung up! Sure enough my computer now required a new password to start up.

    Long story, I know! I hope it will help someone.
     
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  7. Larry M

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    Wow, what a hassle. Hope you didn't lose too much money. I don't use PayPal because if you have a dispute with a company you don't have any recourse about getting your money back I believe.
    I have had a dispute a couple of times and the credit card people took care of it.
    Maybe check out the IT tech sites that I and other people have posted.

    Scammers are everywhere they got my father in law for 6000 dollars with the green dot cards that you buy at the drug store.

    I saw that you paid $300, that's a lot to lose.
     
    #7 Larry M, May 30, 2017
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  8. Kellen

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    Wow, amazing how intricate these scams are. They got the ransom ware installed on your computer that very first day and then let things play out to see how many other ways they could scam you before using the ransomware against you. Or they had the ransomware installed on your machine even before that initial call. But chances are they just make the cold calls knowing that 99% of the people they call are experiencing a computer that is slower than it used to be (it's what they do after we load them down with data and dust).

    I'm not an internet security expert by any means. I obviously make my living online using computers, so that makes me savvy enough to know quite a bit though. And I'll say one thing, I will never, ever have any antihack / antivirus / internet security software installed on my computer. Most of them are darn near viruses themselves, and they are afforded way too many privileges on your computer. Not to mention, they don't exist without there being viruses in the first place. I'm not paranoid, and not saying the big anti virus software companies like McAfee are creating and spreading viruses, but there are smaller antivirus software suites that do exactly that.

    All said, you're much better off without antivirus software and just being extremely skeptical and diligent about what you click on. Never give away your passwords to ANYONE, no one legitimate will ever ask you for them anyways. Never send money to anyone who asks for it through a link. If you want to pay a bill, go to your browser and go to that company's site and pay it that way, never pay through a link that was emailed to you. And don't click on links on emails that don't make absolutely complete sense in the context at which they were sent (you knew it was coming).
     
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  9. Kellen

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    That's not really true. PayPal is actually very safe as long as you're sending it to a reputable account. If you're sending to a person, and that person rips you off, PayPal can't get the money if the person withdraws it and no longer has the funds in their backup payment method. But they can't immediately withdraw the funds unless they're an established account with a verified backup method.

    But if you're sending PayPal to a real company, it works just like any other credit card with good customer service - you file a dispute and they refund the money (they freeze the funds in the sellers account) and then they let the dispute process play out.
     
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  10. RKMM

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    My husband almost got scammed on his Mac; they had him just about to pay when I walked in the door from work. He gave me the phone, I gave them an earful and was really wishing I was able to slam it in a receiver afterwards.

    My husband is not very computer savvy :) It was a pop up claiming he had malware on his PC, and he couldn't get rid of the pop up so he called the number on the pop up....:emoji_face_palm:
     
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  11. Larry M

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    When my in laws were alive my father in law would be on the phone with a scammmer and my mother in law would walk in, take the phone and give them an ear full also. What we men do without wifes? LOL
     
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  12. old_rookie

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    I like to play around with these guys. Never did get a call for my windows computer having issues. If they did, I'd ask "which one" to see what they say.

    That's a first I hear of a mac having an issue - I suspect something was installed without realizing what it was vs. a virus.

    That's too bad they scammed you fisheromen. I never trust anyone who calls me with me without knowing ahead of time, or if I requested the call in the first place.

    I get the solar guys calling me - "Hi, this is Jason from ...." I pause then slowly say... "oh sorry.. Jason isn't here" - nothing after that.

    Or I'll pretend I can't hear them, and ask to repeat - they get really loud or very upset then hang up. Sometimes I'll ask who... and why are you calling... and repeat those a few times. I can get mad about them calling, or have fun. I prefer to have fun with them.

    My wife won't play those games - she'll use words that make me turn red.
     
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  13. Kellen

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    Probably not a virus at all. Just a popup on a website. Calling the number on the popup is how you get the virus though...

    Macs aren't immune to viruses, but they're tougher targets.
     
  14. Ram-Rod

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    The creator of McAfee antivirus, John McAfee said in an interview that antivirus doesn't work. Hes also the creator of an open source phone app called Dcentral which requires no user permissions. The app shows you which apps on your phone are spying on you. Ever download a game or app but it asks you permission to access your call log, microphone, camera, etc before you can install? That a spyware. Also never let anyone get remote access to your computer and never log onto a website through your email. Lots of fake paypal, banking, facebook emails. I have a piece of tape over my webcam too. Its not paranoia, my friend bought an hacking app for $40 and was able to hack into his neighbors wifi. It wasn't complicated either, the program just ran through a sequence of alphanumerics until it got in, took about a month.
     
  15. fisheromen

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    I got my computer back! Almost as it was before. Some adjusting to do. I was at my Derm appointment this morning (cancer free) and heard an Indian arguing with a receptionist. Made me cringe! I know most are probably wonderfully respectable people, but that accent just brings up bad feelings! Conditioned response as Pavlov would say.
     
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  16. Carterantebi

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    That darn Nigerian prince still hasn't payed me back!
     
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  17. old_rookie

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    The rest is funny too.
     
  18. salt water guy

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    Our home land line is currently getting blown up by someone allegedly from ATT. They've robo-called probably 15 times now warning us about some sort of ISP "infection." Fed up, my wife finally picked up the phone to give 'em a piece of her mind and -- sure enough, a gentleman with an Indian accent...
     
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  19. fisheromen

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    Yah ta hey! Pilgrim!
     
  20. RKMM

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    My husband sent me an Email the other week at work: "microsoft called with an emergency message, some bs that you need to call 1-800-291-4814 about???????"

    I emailed him back: "Scammers, laugh at them and hang up."

    He never did :( The couple times I answered with them on the line in the past I laughed at them, and hearing them get all fake offended and worried was worth the minute of my time to waste theirs.
     
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