Thread: Holidays are over and time for the scams

Jerry - 1/7/2019 at 09:29 PM

Hope everybody got what they really wanted for Christmas, but this is about all those shiny new computers, laptops, tablets, and phones.

There are things to be wary of, and some you should really inform your kids about.

1.) Viruses. All web connected devices, including Macs, phones, and tablets, are vulnerable to viruses.
Devices made by major manufacturers usually come with a 30 day trial version of McAfee, Norton,
or some other brand name.
For them to work, you have to activate it, and then remember to purchase at least a one year
subscription to keep it working.
You can go with one of the free versions such as Avira, which I use, or others that offer a base
version for free. You can check their websites for the free versions.
I use Kaspersky on my Android devices (yes, the free versions).
I don't have any iOS or Mac devices so i couldn't give an informed view on those.

2.) Scams These come in several different varieties: Phone calls, and screen locks.
The usual phone scam is where some claiming to be "Microsoft Repair Center" or "Microsoft Tech
Services" call and say that they have been either "observing unusual activity" or have been
monitoring your computer and have found "errors on the hard drive". Most adults would just
ask "Why the hell are you doing monitoring my computer.' , and threaten a lawsuit. Well,
these guys have figured out a way to get around the adults and call around 3:30 pm on a school
day hoping to catch kids who just got home since they would be more likely to keep listening to
"Microsoft" reps. When the kid has done what the called wants, they have control of your
In the past couple of years I've had not just a few older adults that had received a computer from
their kids as a way to keep in touch with the grandkids, (Dad: You promise that this will help you
stay in touch with GrandMa? Kids: Yeah, we can e-mail, skype, and video call her all the time.)
Yeah lasts about two weeks after the kids get frustrated with granny not knowing how to even
open an e-mail, that come in saying "I did what the "Microsoft" people told me to do.

Hated to tell them at least $120 to fix what "Microsoft" told them to do.

The other phone scam is where a window pops up telling you that "illegal activity" or "hard drive
errors" have been detected and to call this number immediately and leaving the screen or shutting
down the computer will cause "irreparable damage' to the hard drive.
Solution: hit these three buttons at once Alt + Ctrl + Del (not one at a time all three together)
Click on Task Manager.
Highlight and right click the browser (Firefox, IE, Chrome, Safari)
Click on End Task
That will close out your browser completely, but you may have to do it twice, very rarely a third
time, when you can go back on the internet and the screen doesn't show, then re-boot the
computer. It's been cleared out of browser cache.
Sometimes this scam can use a block screen approach and not let you go out of the screen at all,
much like the FBI scam that claims you have been convicted of having child pornography on your
computer and to get release your computer a fine must be paid using a BlueDot or some type of
cash card number sent to "FBI, or ICE, Criminal Recovery Department" using a text sent to you
after calling this number. Usually, the "fine" was $300, and the computer did get unlocked, for
about two weeks.
I asked one guy when he was arrested, and tried. he couldn't understand that you couldn't be
found guilty if he had not been arrested and gone to trial. He thought it was because of this, and
showed me a video of his girlfriend skinny dipping in a creek. It was absolutely not child

3.) Lock Screens Along with the FBI, Ice, and other agency lock screens, there are ones from a myriad of
"child interest" sites and pages.

Does your child like smiley faces, sparkly unicorns, cartoon character emojis? All can entice a child
to keep clicking "yes" to each screen without reading what they are agreeing to.
That sparkly unicorn background screen may have taken your child through up to 20 pages to
finally get to the actual screen to download the background, along with a slew of malware.
During all of this, your child has agreed to allow the computer to be used by one screen to
search for UFOs, another to do allow use of the internet connection to make phone calls, another
to set up a poetry reading by the captain of a Vogon cruiser, and to allow 24/7 access to the web
cam on the laptop. The literally hundreds of pop-ups you get will use up the computers memory
and freeze the computer.

Solution: Before starting to use the computer, download and install the following
SpyBot Search and Destroy
ZoneAlarm (firewall)

Utilities: Auslogics DiskDefrag
Really, Really download and install Cybersight RansomStopper

Most modern browsers do a good job of stopping the so called "drive by" infections, and ransomStopper helps a lot on ransom ware. You still have to be vigilant about what you give permission to get loaded on your computer.
if you get an infection where you gave permission, your anti-virus won't get rid of it because you gave it permission to be there.
Run your anti-virus first anyway, then run MalwareBytes or SuperAntiSpyware. If the infection is still there, run SpyBot. if the infection doesn't show back up, run CCleaner, just the cleaner part, then run DiskDefrag.

If you still have the infection there are two options left. Full reset back to factory (if you don't have anything on the computer you want to keep), or take it to a computer shop (Office Depot/Max, Staples, or a local mom&Pop you trust) to have the infection cleaned.

Any questions, you know how to ask.

StratDal - 1/8/2019 at 12:47 AM

Title made me think of the Sex Pistols's Holidays In The Sun.

Jerry - 1/8/2019 at 02:14 AM

Title made me think of the Sex Pistols's Holidays In The Sun.

Didn't care much for their music, but, I liked the strawberry blond girl with the orange design t-shirt.

Jerry - 1/19/2019 at 12:50 AM

Scammer On YouTube:

IRS scam

gina - 1/19/2019 at 04:03 PM

It's not just the scammers, or well I guess they are scammers also but a different type. When the FBI wants to get into your stuff and they have not already sent people to your house to install (unbeknownst to you) tracking software on your computer, they can (and do) send trojan horses to you if they know you are on and on a website they are peeking at. They get your i.p. and mess you up. Happened to me two times, usually at 2 a.m. on a holiday morning. A systems analyst can usually recover your stuff (that's a corporate i.t. person), though they got me really good one time and ALL my programs were unrecoverable.

One time there was a legitamite scammer from the UK who got me, but I was able to get off before their stuff took a foothold. I did find out who it was and sent a nice Arabic video with American subtitles and just asked 'please don't scam me again'.

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