April 25, 2012
Yesterday I received a phone call from the very distressed elderly lady. She had fallen victim to a phone scammer.
She received a call from someone saying that they were a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and that it had been detected that her computer had been had been hacked, would close down in 30 minutes, that it was running slowly and had errors, . Unfortunately, she had recently had a few email problems and was convinced enough to let them have remote access of her computer. She then saw lots of windows opening and closing, the sort of thing that she had never seen before. And this was occurring while she was still on the phone with them.
Eventually they claimed that they had fixed the problems and that they could continue to provide her with support for a few hundred dollars. They eventually reduced this to $90 and she by that time was so confused and worried that she gave them her card details and paid.
Fortunately, she then came to her senses and phoned me and on my suggestion phoned her bank. On visiting I removed remote access applications and other signs of their activity.
Fortunately, most people know that you don’t let cold callers into your computer or give them money. Don’t let them bamboozle you as they are very convincing. And it is quite a common occurrence. Yesterday was the second case I had dealt with in 10 days.