Tuesday, July 8, 2014

~SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES...~

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!!  
*moan..groan*

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!
TOO LATE!
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."..
Yep.
Scammed.
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...
STRESS.
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!"

BOTTOM LINE?
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!)
:)
Love'n hugs,
Mona

30 comments:

  1. OMG, Mona the same thing happened to me about a year and half ago. Microsoft will never call you - found that out from Norton. He told me the same thing I let him in but he wanted 399.00 so stupid me i gave him my cc, and it was going through Hong Kong but thank God the bank put a stop on it. The man said he was having problems - I said call me back I will call the bank to see what the problem is. The bank said stop everything - we cancelled my cc card and they sent me a new one. The phone kept ringing but wouldn't answer it, because I knew who it was. I immediately called
    up Norton they got into my computer before the scammers could lock me out. Apparently they are out of Asia somewhere. Norton had three tech's working on it - it was one of the worse virus your computer can get coming out of Germany. Norton was able to fix it, but it ended up costing me $395.00 for two years of protection. Now i hardly open up anything.
    'I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you. I am so sorry that happened to you. It's so scary - I was wild I was so upset.
    AS you get older things bother you more.
    The humidity is killing me - sure wish it would go away.
    Take care dear sweet friend.
    Mary

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  2. Oh my goodness Mona, That was terrible you were scammed. About every 2 monthd I change my password for the same reason. They want access into my puter, they will have to work for it. Lol
    Now I want to see that knew computer you have so Picture please.

    Barbara in Hot Florida
    x0x0

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  3. oh no mona! so sorry to hear this! no one is ever going to call you and tell you something is wrong with your computer! well, except for a bad guy!

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  4. Oh Mona, that is awful! Isn't it amazing how we can get scammed while trusting someone? I know! We had a problem where a screen came up and looked official! It said that we had to pay a $300 or so fee, it looked legal but I was suspicious! I went to another computer and researched it. I found out how to get rid of the problem without paying! Sorry this happened to you! BUT... PH is a doll to buy you a new toy! Sending HUGS across the miles!

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  5. Mona...bless your heart! I had wondered what had happened to you. There is a bit of malware that can get onto your computer as well that will totally shut down the computer. I have had that happen twice. Good thing my computer man is a good friend. I download nothing...and am careful where I go. Terribly sad when there are dishonest people out everywhere trying to figure out how to rip people off. Glad you got a new puter! That will be fun...and the computer guys can get rid of the pest in your old puter. Glad you are ok!

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  6. PS Microsoft will never send things or call you. The malware said it was Microsoft. By the time you see the little screen pop up it's too late.

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  7. now mona, i'm sure you are getting lost of "oh you poor dear thing!" comments. but not i!

    i am going to fly over there (have broom, will travel, ya' know!) and give you a good taking toooooo! never, never, never do anything, which a phone call tells you to do.

    here, we set our answering machine to 2 rings. let it answer. return REAL calls from REAL family or friends we KNOW.

    otherwise, we do not touch the phone. so we are never, never, never even momentarily tempted to falllll-for-alllll-the-phone-scams!

    i'm glad you got a new computer.

    but i am still polishing my broom and so, watch for me to swooop in soon! i'm letting you get a head start, at ducking, running and hiding! because when i land, i will be very, very grumpy. and will be in the mood, for giving you a good-talking-tooooo!

    harumphhhhhhhhh...

    now... let the sweet comments continue.

    -grumble- -grumble- -grumble-

    :-)))

    :-))))

    :-)))))))

    tessa~

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  8. Mona, Mona, Mona! Never! let anyone in to Your computer unless You are the one calling them for help! Big companies like Windows never call to tell You that You have problems with Your computer, never!

    I sure hope You managed to change all Your passwords before they managed to do anything!!

    So please remember that no big company like Windows, Your bank or similar business' will ever call You for any kind of problems and then ask You to solve it via the internet. They always ask You to come down to the comapnt to solve any kind of problem there.

    I hope that Your new computer is a good one and hopefully You don't have Windows 8 :-) :-) :-)

    Have a great day my friend and always be suspicious against anything connected to the Internet!
    Christer.

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  9. I spell like three year old sometimes :-) It should say company and not compnt :-)
    Christer.

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  10. Oh Mona....I hate it that this happened to you...hugs...
    I had to get a new computer about a year ago and at first I hated it! After I learned how to get around though, it is so much faster than my old one and I love it now! Hugs, Penny

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  11. Hi Mona...
    Well, everyone has had their say and I don't know anything new to say to you, except that I know how you must have felt...the panic and helpless feeling. So glad that this is being resolved so you can relax.
    Isn't it crazy that people are out there just to cause people stress and anxiety?
    Have a peaceful day....Balisha

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  12. Mona I am so sorry this happened to you. Thanks for sharing this problem with us now we know not to accept any calls like the one you got. Your new computer sounds great. Hope you get all your stuff back on and running. Have a blessed day. Madeline

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  13. so sorry you were scammed, but i know you will enjoy your new computer. the first rule of phone or computer is never do anything anyone on the phone wants you to do. scammers are a dime a dozen. my friends sister got a call and he told her he was on his way with a warrant to arrest her but if she gave him 700 dollars he would not arrest her. she gave him the money, there is much more to what he said. but the gist of it is she lost her life savings... watch your accounts they might use info on your computer that is down..

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  14. Wow, never heard this one before, what a mess. So glad you got a new one.

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  15. Oh dear Mona ~ How HORRIBLE! What you went through is a lesson for all of us. I do thank you for sharing.

    Enjoy learning your new computer.

    FlowerLady

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  16. Good warning for all of us. We do not even have a home phone anymore. Don't miss it either!

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  17. Mona, That is scary and that is how easily it can happen....I do not think the government or micro soft call people... If you bank ever calls even...just go to your bank, don't give out any info on the phone or on line. Hope everything works for you. xoxo,Susie

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  18. What a horror story! There is so much that he could have done while in there from stealing credit card numbers to bank account numbers. Accckkk...don't trust anyone you don't know especially over the phone or in an email.

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  19. Sigh.... I am not sure you would want to hear what I have to say about this so I will keep my mouth shut. *shakes head in utter disbelief*

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  20. well, it seems there's nothing left to say. you've been scolded and consoled . . . just glad it had a happy ending Mona!

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  21. I will add my two cents in here. The same thing happened to my husband except it was a man from India who said he was from MicroSoft. Joe was asleep when he called and ended up giving him his credit card numbers (3 of them), his Social Security number, his birthdate and a bunch of other personal information. The thing that saved us is that all his cards were maxed out and they couldn't get any money off of them. He called me at work asking me for money to send to a P.O. Box in England and told me what happened. I hit the roof and told him it was a scam. We had to cancel his cards, file a police report and take his now unusable PC to the Geek Squad. They fixed it to be able to be used, but he lost all the information on it. Still it was cheaper than buying a new one. They are STiLL calling us every other week trying to get us to pay them. Joe has learned his lesson. Most of the time we can tell by the phone number it is them and don't answer. If we do happen to answer, Joe yells at them. I just told them that we no longer have a computer because it was hacked and we threw it out.

    What I am trying to say, Mona, is here is a college educated, former Marine who was taken in. Don't feel stupid or beat yourself up about it, but NEVER do it again. And I don't think you will. Thanks for this post because maybe you will save someone else from this fate.

    Sorry this is so long.

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  22. I have answered the phone two different times to have a man with a Pakistani or Indian accent tell me that he was from Micro Soft. My mistake was in answering the phone before looking at caller ID.

    I knew he wasn't for real, and quite frankly, it made me so angry that I saw red as I pummeled him with so many "words of wisdom" that he hung up on me. I would not say here on your post just how colorful my "words of wisdom" for him were. I was wishing I knew how to cuss him out in his language, whatever it was.

    He deserved more than just words, but even though it is a small world now in some ways, there apparently is no way that any type of law enforcement in our country can just "reach out and touch someone" that is an international scammer thief.

    I am sorry that he scammed you, and that you had to go through so much trouble. We all live and learn, don't we.

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  23. Oh Mona . . .
    Good news . . . you are wiser now and thank goodness you called your granddaughter and she helped to "close things down!"
    Being able to TRUST is slipping away for sure . . . out the door, gone!
    And look at how violating this act was, plus all the inconvenience and expense for you.
    Makes me very angry at that "little man crook!"
    Do you have a caller ID on your land line?
    Sending my hugs . . .

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  24. We are hearing this type of story all to often every day/ I have often thought why cant these people use the effort it took to figure out how to steal from people, to make a good, positive difference in people's lives. Such a sad state.... Glad everything is OK with you. It is unfortunate that we all need a reality check once in a while to remind us that not all people are what they pretend to be....
    Take care..Sherry

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  25. It just amazes me these days the extents people will go to anymore to rob people. It will take a while to get onto the new one. I know I would have a time of it. I hate change.LOL!

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  26. Dear Mona, I know how awful you must feel and it must have taken a lot of courage to confess here how you were scammed. I am truly sorry for the headaches and heartache that these unscrupulous no-gooders caused you, dear friend. It certainly is true that bad things can happen to nice folks.
    You are not alone in getting these scam calls. We have been getting them on and off for the past few years and I will admit that the 1st time I was scared out of my wits as was my husband. We did not answer any questions, but ran our own scans and virus software and came up with nothing. Then we checked online and what others have said is true...Microsoft will NEVER call you and tell you there are viruses on your PC. So I did a post awhile back and so sorry you missed it as it could have saved you all this agony. And just THIS week I received not one but two such similar scans and last week Pat received one also. And the latest one was a computer telling me to make selections!
    I have slammed down the phone, shouted at these people who call (always heavily accented with lots of call center type noise in the background) but it's to NO avail as they persist. The next time, I am considering having a large whistle to blow very loudly into the headset...maybe this will convince them NEVER to call again. It's worth a try and at least I will have the upper hand.

    Good luck with your new computer, Mona, and be ever so vigilant cause bad people are all around...never, ever click on links in emails even IF they look like they are from trusted family and friends.

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  27. Dear Mona - Thank you for sharing this horrible experience! Who knows how many people you have saved from the same thing by warning us. It does seem the world is getting more and more evil, but then you hear of the goodness of many and realize all is not lost. Enjoy your new computer and chalk this up as a lesson learned. It could happen to anyone. Hugs - Rhonda

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  29. Oh, my. I was wondering where you were. I though maybe you were setting off fireworks and enjoying a family gathering.

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  30. To bad they don't use their evil for good!

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