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WARNING HOW SAFE ARE YOU ON YOUR COMPUTER?

thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

Hello every one sorry to sound an alarm or a warning. My intention is never to frighten anyone.

I had a hell of a day. My laptop bought from a charity. About ten years ago. Developed a virus this morning.

Had a pop up from Microsoft adding will have to shut down files.  Need to call them who in turn transferred me to a company in the USA.

Who deals with these things.

I thought I was covered got and use Windows 10 Defender. Not so. At all. Apparently not everything.

From about nearly nine this morning speaking to an advisor from the USA. Explaining and showing me the evidence.

They use your Email and show you what is happening.  Take over your laptop and simply show you.

I have been ill about all this from anxiety and slowly recovering.

The engineer has taken literally finished around 3pm this afternoon.

I do a lot on line shopping. You sign into a secure site even so how safe are you?

Yes there are certain things do help.  https  like that means is a secure site.

Always double check you software.

Unfortunately had to pay a sum to cover three years. This is not cheap but I have to ring up the Repair company month by month to double check.

There is no viruses.

I have also read the WHICH magazine. Has lots to say about the subject. Very informative.

There are software packages but do they do the job required.

Hope if you need advice . Please to give your self reassurance speak to your broadband provider. Look on line for advice and guidance.

Speak to Microsoft.

One aspect I am certain of. Banks will inform me of payments to make sure it is me.

New rules are to come into force I believe.

Had this morning with the bank texted me about a payment. Had to reply.

All I am saying please be safe and secure.

Please take care.

@thespiceman


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Replies

  • skeg1960skeg1960 Member Posts: 15 Connected
    hi this is always a con as a former systems  analyst with both IBM  and Microsoft I can confirm Microsoft will never ever call you like this. you need to take your laptop to a  pc shop and have it checked out. giving strangers access to your system like this is very unsafe .key loggers are the virus software that are very bad as every key stroke you on your keyboard I can be seen by the person taking control of your pc don't whish to frighten you but I have over 27 years working in it 
  • atlas46atlas46 Community champion Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi @thespiceman

    As already stated, this is a complete con.

    I would report any payments from your bank and stop any transaction.

    Microsoft would not do such a thing, neither do they have “engineers or technicians” for you to phone.

    Its known as the Microsoft Indian scammers - scam. They are based in India and have nothing to do whatsoever with Microsoft.

    Sorry to be bearer of such bad news.
  • skeg1960skeg1960 Member Posts: 15 Connected
  • skeg1960skeg1960 Member Posts: 15 Connected
    also large network of scammers springing up in Holland  not sure of there nationality
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2019

    Hello @skeg1960 Thank you for replying to me.

    The laptop I had came up with Microsoft Windows 10 defender. 

    Said detecting virus or something similar .Will delete all files . Need to call this number.

    Which took me to a company called reimage plus.com.

    They took me to putting on McAfee Antivirus plus. Also a lot of other virus protections.

    Been doing this for three hours today. 

    Which is put on right now.

    I apologise if I did say ring Microsoft I got confused.  With my wording.

    Sorry.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
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  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @atlas46 Thank you for replying to me.

    Hope you are OK.

    Understand what happened was as I explained to @skeg1960

    Microsoft did not ask me to ring them. I rang this number on the webpage to install virus protection.

    This company reimage plus.com asking me to ring them monthly for a virus check.

    I know there are cons out there.

     I apologise if my wording got muddled up. Just wanted to explain what has happened. To day.

    Sorry .

    Take care.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
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  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Spiceman ....please stop all transactions from your bank ...you must do this right away . Tell the bank what you told us . There is always someone wanting to take money from people . Please do not use remote to allow anyone to take over your computer.( unless it's a trusted friend ) They can do anything with your information you have stored in your files . I just hope that your phone bill is not through the roof . Please get in touch with your phone company and ask what it cost for your calls today .
    I sincerely hope all goes well but please do not reply to phishing ( these pop-ups) ...thank you for posting this , it might stop someone else from doing the wrong thing.... Do not answer such pop- ups . 
    Good luck Spiceman 👍

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,994 Disability Gamechanger
    OP sorry to say but you have been scammed, its an old one thats been around for years, they can make your PC look as though you have multiple infections when you have non.
    2 things as above contact your bank and ask them to cancel whichever card you used to pay them, you may get your money back but probably won't. You don't need multiple virus defences only one and there are a number of good ones out there windows defender,avast are 2 good ones that are free, more than one will interfere with each other.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2019

    Hello everyone please can I thank you all for concern and may I add supportive comments.

    Please can I inform every one. This is what happened.

    If I did not make it clear. I apologise if I was confused. I am sorry but I need to explain .

    Before every one jumps on me. Yes there are scams and yes there are concerns.

    Please just listen read very carefully the following .

    Logged on the computer my Package is Windows 10. Have defender virus protection. 

    The pop up came up with all the wording and logo of Microsoft Windows 10.  Explaining that there is a virus on my computer.

    This in turn would be shutting down.  Windows defender system notifying me of what was in my computer my laptop.

    I am not a simple man but do get confused by all this IT stuff.

    It was a far as I know a genuine popup.  Had everything related to Windows.

    I then was notified by a parent company whether it is related to Microsoft who knows. I probably could have worded by first post a lot better.

    When I rang this company. This reimage.com. Check it out every one it is listed on the webpages.  As a genuine company.

    Spoke to a lady from USA. I believe she sounded American. It was an 0808 number. I rang. This connected me to Reimage.com.

    I have looked on the web pages listings. This company does virus checks, scans and looks after maintenance on any devices.

    Check this out. 

    Please can I add if your in this position have limited knowledge. Need to know what is happening to your systems . What would you do.?

    So I spent an anxious morning and afternoon talking and chatting to these people.

    Understand they one engineer. Nothing to do with Microsoft. I got transferred from the information on the website to them.

    This company reimage .com.  Spoke to a lady for three hours on mobile double checking my computer again I am concerned and anxious.

    Nothing about Indian scammers or from Holland or any thing else con wise.

    I am aware of them having had them before tried to call me on my landline. Have screening.

    The call handler from reimage.com. spoke about this before I did and I mentioned this.

    All I know my worries, concerns spent a long time while an engineer from the company I spent time with.

    Used chat room and spoke to me.  He went through every thing.

    I am aware of many aspects of the web and have acute sense of people and perception.

    If he was a scammer he would not spend a whole morning, part of the afternoon doing this.

    Since reading various articles and pieces on virus protection and what we need to do... This is the WHICH magazine.

    Add to that may I ask you all are you covered. 

    According them most of the protection is not worth the process.  You mentioned several virus protection companies down loads.

    Many are not good enough.  I trust the logical . If some one tells me something. I am not gullible.  I have run a business my own company. Have business mind and attitude if I know being taken for a ride. Then have to put my hands up.

    I am wrong.  This in this instance not so . Have found and told me on the investigation showed me gaps and errors in my systems.

    Had the following put on McAfee anti virus software.  Plus one called Ghost some others as well.

    Would a scammer do all that. 

    Yet since going on line feel the need to check everything out. 

    If your like myself do a lot on line shopping.  How safe is safe.?

    Contacted the bank and asked there views on this as well .  Something I did after my posting. I should have come back to add on. 

    They have systems in place if they think payments, movements unusual  send a text  to your mobile.  This I did.  Receive from the bank about the payment.

    I do understand have paid a three year plan which I will admit is probably too much.  As part of the package. Got invoice of money in my e mail account . Scammer would not do that. Confirmation of payment.

    Have to check my system monthly part of the package.  I have bought. Not from Microsoft. From reimage.com.

    I do have as I added that I need to know.

    If I intended to alarm or mislead. Any one that I did not aim to do so. I just wanted to say my views and opinions on what is happening out on the websites.

    We all trust and think we are safe and secure.

    That is all. 

    Please take.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
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  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,348 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @spiceman

    Yes the company is a legitimate one, but one which uses adware. These are small programs which create popups which for all intents and purposes do look legitimate and often give false alerts and recommends a company to get in touch with. 

    Yes some programs offer protection, but rarely are they 100% Anti virus programs for example depend a lot on using a database of known viruses to detect then remove them. So a new virus will likely get through. Some anti virus programs monitor programs for specific types of behaviour and then flags it up when this type of behaviour is spotted.

    Having helped friends for many years to maintain their computers and deal with problems I am not surprised that a ten year old computer with little real maintenance would take hours to clean up. A lot of clutter builds up, broken links, register issues, number of old files building up etc. and can do so at an alarming speed. Yes I do add a small number of programs to these computers to assist in helping to keep them clean and going. Ghost programs create an image of the drive and files you have so if the worst happens it can be restored to the point where the last ghost image was taken. Many computers have a small hidden partition with the original microsoft software so that it can be reloaded. The problem with this approach is you lose everything else.

    I do have an issue with the use of adware especially as it is not normally clear that it is an advert and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for some people. Thing is if you are happy to pay for the service it should keep your computer running smoothly and if things go wrong to recover quickly.  The only additional piece of advice I would give you is to keep an eye on the phone number you are using and to check your phone bill after using them. 0808 numbers are free but sometimes the number you are given to contact companies like this can be premium numbers. I have no reason to suspect that this is happening with this company but it worth checking. If you are calling a toll free american number there could be international call costs so you will need to check with your phone provider what these may be and if there is a way of reducing or removing these costs.

    When I have to call America I use a card which can be purchased at a local shop which provides cheaper calls and I know how much I am paying. These usually involve dialing another number first and then the number you want.

    Personally I would have compared prices with a local established company who would take on this type of work. Keeping in mind that this may mean being without the computer for a few days, but would then only do it every 6 or 12 months. Though I tend to change my laptop every 5 years.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @Elsey66 Thank you for kind words and also sharing.

    I am sorry what you have been through. This has me concerned reading your story. I know we expect a lot from our computer laptops, note books.

    When it goes wrong or something happens.

    All of us think we are adequately covered by any package we subscribe to.

    Unfortunately this is not the case.

    Since calming down and doing a lot of research. Thanks to my WHICH magazine very informative.

    There are problems with any anti virus protection.

    I have read a similar story to your self. Recently.

    I have been putting much thought into how can I protect my self .

    From virus, scammers or any other illegal .

    This I only bought to the communities attention because I thought every one should know.

    I hope you get your system back and up and running. If I can be supportive please get in touch.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
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  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @Geoark Please can I thank you for the first the information you have given.

    Second explaining to me the whole thing and why and how this happened.

    I am not a simple man but with anything. Technical and do have the limited knowledge this is one of many issues.

    My problem was if we think have subscribed to a package. We are protected.

    I always thought had protection or some to anything on line.

    I do always shop with caution on line to secure sites .

    I am grateful to you for also explaining some the certain aspects of the procedures I was not too clear on.

    I have been on looking at this company. Also the reviews of many of the websites.

    Some are good others as bad. Lots of comments about is this real or a scam.

    Others on websites praised the company offering  a service.

    One thing as I did mention spent a long time sorting me out. Showing me gaps in my security. I had no knowledge.

    That is a good thing. To me.

    I am also know should have had some one look at my computer a long time ago.  Unfortunately that is the other problem is it not. Finding and relying on those who can help and advise you.

    When I got this computer this laptop it was given to me from charity. I misunderstood and was naïve to think that it was OK.

    To me having also read the recent WHICH magazine on anti virus protection. I am aware this is the one of the issues we face as consumers.

    So much out there. Which is the big problem it is saturated market.

    I will take up and contact the company in a months time.

    One final point have agreed to a contract but will look at other options out there. Know some of these can be rolling ones. With out informing you.

    I will accept you advice on phone calls. Did use my mobile.  Have to see what the cost will be.

    Hopefully I will find out.

    I appreciate your time and I thank you for being honest and open.

    Your friend

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Hi Spiceman , I hope everything works out ok . I just wonder , if you had an engineer on the phone for hours , his time has to be added . I am with virgin media and they used to supply free antivirus with their internet service ( a firm called F - Secure . ) virgin stopped providing customers with this free service and now charge £25 a year ....but I must say that since using F secure ( maybe ten years now ) I have had no problems whatsoever online . They actually install regular antivirus for the latest virus online . Some people just get a kick out of giving viruses out....If caught doing so, they should be jailed, in my opinion ...They cause so much trouble ( especially to us older folks who struggle to understand the finer points of the internet. ) .... always best to have an anti virus you can trust to do the job . 
    Good luck my friend . 👍🤞
  • vysvadervysvader Member Posts: 134 Courageous
    edited April 2019
    Someone can wonder that you hadn't met any adware/malware for so long. Try WMware or VirtualBox (that you see on the image below) and then you can try also other OS options (free), and, maybe, you will like alternatives to Windows. Even if you run on Windows, virtualization (like the VMware), Linux native containers, Docker, CoreOS, etc, and cloud give you the highest level of security because you don't have to share the operating, and file system, permissions/access, and users. I have been experiencing almost no problems with adware and spyware in general (without a targeted attack what... it's actually happened many times). As a Linux user, I belong to a few percents of the population that runs an operating system based on Debian (actually, Ubuntu) and the vast majority of malware is not developed for Linux, it just doesn't run on Linux OSes because it's not cross-compatible.
    In an extreme, you would stick with a "live CD/USB" (that's the safest option and gives you more protection than any anti-spyware. Live OSes run only from RAM, doesn't write permanent records onto HDD/SSD).

    Each Windows license allows you to reinstall the Windows (even, to install it for 3 computers if all of them serve just 1 person). The PIN should be stuck somewhere on your Pc or DVD media packaging.



    Scams? For last years, that's something that I have been receiving 2-3 times a week with nice email attachments : ))) as you see below. Ha! So 11 detected malware in a single email : )) For the next time, they'll try to throw on me a nuclear bomb, just to make sure : ))



    Best regards,
    J. Vysvader
    You can feel free to get in touch 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @Seanchai  Thank you for sharing your insights and information on antivirus protection. Also mobile charges.

    I have since looked at my bank account money has gone through. With I did know this additional fees for bank transfer.

    My concern is as with everything we live and we learn. No one is an expert a professional knows everything.

    Understand as I age older . The whole world of technology is mystified to me and many others of my age.

    I had an interesting conversation one only time with a support worker who was our computer whizz kid.  Who was the charity computer geek.

    Having a meeting with all of us older mental health clientele by the end of it he needed a lie down. On to the chemist next day to get the strong stuff.  lol.

    As all of us were clueless and no idea.

    I did add if gave him a recipes for some of the food . I do some of it has been known to be complex requiring concentration.

    Could he do this. Eyes wide open tearing his hair out and being angry is not going to help any one. I know but it the fact that none of us are experts have limited knowledge on all sorts of things.

    Recalling that the other day strange how these things happen but memories and triggers go hand in hand.

    Part of me.

    The other issues are were all of us living on our own more and more.

    Who do we turn to .

    I subscribed to WHICH  consumer support and much more . Lots of guidance and advice in there.

    As we all of us need someone to assist and identify the problems we all have.

    Thank you for your support. Understand and much appreciate the time.

    Always here for you anytime.

    Your friend.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @vysvader.  Thank you for your post.

    I appreciate this your time. Thank you.

    Sorry to tell you have no idea what exactly are you saying.

    Please forgive me. I am an intelligent gentleman but from a time of the old Amstrad .

    Have to compliment you on the taking of the time to explain if you can to me.

    Still in the dark sorry.

    Obviously you have the talents and skills .  Knowledge to understand all this stuff.

    I was wondering must be some one out there who requires your expertise.

    To maintain these systems.

    It seems that many charities are now issuing laptops and related to clientele with many new ways of communication..

    This other one SKYPE never heard of it. Apparently one of my former friends is doing that. Sounds something different.

    Video related sort of connection he explained .

    They can see you and you can see them.  Have to use . He mentioned something else I ca not think what it is.

    Any way he is talking to them the support teams.  His support worker.

    Wish you well and may I thank you once again.

    I am truly grateful.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • ScoliFibroGirlScoliFibroGirl Member Posts: 46 Courageous
    I am sorry to say that you’ve been scammed @thespiceman
    its been the same scam from India for years. So the best thing to do is when they phone you just say you have Mac’s and they will leave you alone, you can also block their number as well using the TPS
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