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Computer scam
by dissid32 • Fri 20 Dec 2013 23:06

I don't know whether this has come up before, and even if it has, it's probably worth re-warning people.
I've just had a call from a friend, and she told me she had been having some problems with her computer, and today she had a call from an Indian sounding man who claimed he was calling from Windows Technical Services. He seemed to know all about the problems and said he would fix the problems if she followed his instructions, which she did, believing of course that he was genuine. I imagine that was how he took control of her computer. He then directed her to a page to fill in her credit card details and wanted to charge her €129. She then told him she wasn't going to pay him and put the phone down. A few minutes later she had a message come up saying they were unable to run a scan and they had f@cked her machine. And then she discovered that they really had.
I think the message is: don't answer calls from anyone claiming to be calling from Windows. As someone pointed out, Windows don't do that.

Happy Christmas everyone, and a good New Year.

Patrick
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dissid32
204
Feb 2006
Re: Computer scam
by Dave • Sun 29 Dec 2013 12:37

If anyone calls you and tells you your computer is broken then it will be a scam. There are no proactive services that telephone you from any company (including Microsoft, Apple and Google) so just put the phone down and tell them nothing. Just think about the cost of them doing this and you'll see that it must be a scam given the price you paid for the operating system (it came with your PC I expect) so don't expect them to call you ever.

Make sure that you install the regular updates and buy a good virus checker (Kaspersky, Norton or McAfee) but be careful here too because there are free ones that are bogus and will actually take over your PC.

Plus make sure you have copies of all your documents and pictures somewhere else (flash drive or on-line storage) in case all goes bad. It's bad enough to that some scumbag destroys your PC but loosing your data is worse. Flash drives cost very little and a backup might mean a great deal if your hard drive fails or your PC is stolen or infected. Or get some free on-line storage (Sky Drive from Microsoft for example) although you need a good internet connection for this to be viable for images.

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Dave
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Aug 2004
Re: Computer scam
by virtdave • Sun 29 Dec 2013 19:33

I have used the free antivirus program Avast for many years, on several computers and on an Android cellphone. Never had any problems at all. You can google Avast to get to their site. They do offer souped-up versions which are not free, I have not taken them up on these--their site will try to entice you to subscribe to the paying versions, but you can find (sometimes you must look for) links to the free version. Their cellphone version, even the free one, has an option to locate (and possibly disable, if you think the cellphone has been stolen) your phone. I did use the location service once when the phone slipped out of my pocket into the weeds. I'd luckily left it on, I don't think the location app will actually turn on the phone if it's off, tho perhaps it can for some models. I don't know if the phone-location will work in Europe, but it definitely works in the USA.

Wasn't there some issue with one of the Norton antvirus programs jamming things up a while back?

I actually have Avast on my Ubuntu computers as well, tho I am unaware of much in the way of successful virus attacks on Ubuntu OS's. I have them to scan any email attachments I might want to send to folks with Windows systems.
Now that one can buy--pretty cheaply--a huge external drive for backup, and configure automatic backup to such a drive, I don't use on-line backup, but it's attractive.....

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virtdave
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Sep 2008
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