It's been quite a strange few days.
Friday morning evil was afoot when I was awakened very early in the morning by a phone call.
It was a man saying he was from "Windows" and telling me my computer was sending them many "error!" messages and that my computer was about to crash. I told them it was not even 6 o'clock in the morning and that I was still in bed.
"Get up and go to your computer immediately!" the man on the other end of the phone line says, in a very irritated tone. "NO! I cannot. You will have to call back!" I said, and hung up the phone.
"What the heck??!" I said to PH. I told him who it was and he said, simply, "that's odd." and it was.
No use, I was suddenly wide awake.
I got up and made coffee..got dressed and turned on the computer. It was acting just fine. It IS eight years old and a little slow but I have been hoping it will last a bit longer. I keep it cleaned up from all of the extra "junk" that gets on our computers. I do very little on it, my blog and the usual things that people do on their computers, but I do not download a lot of things. I am careful what I open in my email..
Why....goodness, I was very aware and careful! How on earth could this happen to my computer.
Surely he was mistaken.
Wait until you hear this story. You've probably heard it before. Some have..but some have not.
Unfortunately, I hadn't.
So..at about 8 o'clock the phone rang. Same man. "This call is from Windows.." and he begins by asking if I am in front of my computer. I say no..but I can be. He said "is it on?" and I say yes, it is.
He then leads me through several different places on my computer that shows at least 50 or more "ERROR!" messages...and tells me my computer is about to crash and that they must get in to fix the problem. He said I have a virus and my computer is being damaged. He then asks for my permission to get into my computer and Windows will fix the problem!
Can you believe I let him in? I did!!
When it came time to click on the little box that warns " DO YOU KNOW THIS PERSON OR THIS PROGRAM THAT WANTS PERMISSION TO ENTER..." or some such thing.
I tell the man from Windows that I am not familiar with what is going on..and he impatiently tells me "it's just fine. Don't worry..click below" and I do. He is in! I then see my cursor zooming around aimlessly. He keeps talking and finally begins showing all sorts of " warnings"
Suddenly it hits me! He is not fixing a thing and he has been talking and talking and warning for much too long and doing nothing. I ask him..."are you trying to sell me something?" He almost shouts "No, lady, I am not. I am trying to fix your computer..." How rude, I think. I ask where he is from as he has a heavy accent. Japan, China, Philippines? He mumbles something that sounds vaguely like New York. I say, "New York?" and he says yes.
I ask again.."Are you trying to sell me something" and again he denies it and keeps talking..then suddenly says to wait, he will be right back.
Another man takes the phone and says he is a supervisor. In moments he is showing me an invoice for $199.99! I say "wait..who is going to pay this?" A long pause and he says "You are!" I say "NO, no I am not! I have asked several times if you are trying to sell me something and have been told no. Yes, you ARE trying to sell me something. He suddenly says "Do you have another computer?" A warning bell goes off in my head! I lie. "No, I don't have another computer and I am hanging up now..." and I try to move the cursor to turn off the computer but he pulls it in the opposite direction and a PASSWORD box appears and I see him quickly type something into it just as I push the off button on the computer tower!
The computer is off.
WHAT in the world just happened? I sit there..staring at my blank screen.
I reach down in a minute or so to turn my computer back on.
A black screen appears and a little widow is there that says "This computer must have a password to be turned on. WHAT??! I turn it off and try again. I try my password.
It informs me it is the wrong password. My heart begins to pound.
OH NO! It can't be. I call PH in and show him. He says "I heard you let him into your computer. You are so careful that I was amazed you did that. He has locked you out of your own computer."
I frantically keep trying to get into my computer..no use. I cannot get in or even to my Windows screen. Nothing.
A few questions from PH confirms that I have been scammed and I ticked off the scammer and he has changed my password and locked me out.
Pure spite...the RAT!
I try to get on again and again..and yet again..with the same results.
I immediately call Granddaughter, 3000 miles away with my story. She immediately tells me to unplug my computer and to get on PH's computer and change every one of my passwords,, beginning with my bank, and then emails me a letter she got from someone warning of this very thing. The only difference was, the scammer's said they were from "Micro Soft."..
No more computer.
The following day, July 5th my dear PH takes me out and buys me a brand new computer.
We have to take the "locked up" computer to the store and have the Geek Squad get in and fix the hard drive and transfer all my data to the new one.
Now I am lost and fumbling about, but it's lovely and it works beautifully.
No photo's..can't find them yet.
but it works
No favorites list...gone!
...but it works.
A strange world I am in and I am stumbling around but I can call the Geek Squad when things get too bad.
But ...it works!!
How I hope I have learned something. I am much more gullible than I thought I was.
Tomorrow I will try to download my new photo's.
I hope you all had a better July 4th weekend than mine was...
But I have a lovely snow white and silver trimmed computer with a mouse and keyboard to match.
NO tower. All in one.
I keep telling myself
"I can do this! I can do this!"
IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO PISS OFF ANYONE YOU HAVE LET HAVE CONTROL OF YOUR COMPUTER!
(Still a bit miffed here AND embarrassed!)