Privacy Warning!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is not an issue with the Board. It is something that we are currently dealing with that is a CLEAR scam to gain our private information.

    We are getting calls several times a day from some group claiming to be Windows saying we have a virus on our computer that is very dangerous and we MUST give them access to our computer info so that they can fix it. They want very personal info totally unrelated to our computer use. So far they have asked for various info on the computers we own, tablets, other devices that can be used online including cell phones, social security info, bank account and credit card info to pay for this 'service' and so they can know not to delete any payment info we have stored on the computer, and many more things.

    NONE of this is legit, and our computers are NOT showing problems or viruses when we scan them. These calls are getting more and more persistent and belligerent. Yesterday one caller actually cussed at thank you, screaming obscenties through the phone so loud that we heard them over six feet away from him. I am FURIOUS,of course. He had hung up on the caller and the guy called back three times and kept screaming each time Tyler answered the phone.

    We had to disconnect our home phone to stop the calls!

    Please be careful if you get calls about having a virus or other computer problem. I have NO idea why they would have our number, but of course numbers get sold to all sorts of scammers. Do NOT give out personal info or computer info to anyone who calls you. If they are legit, they will not call you on the phone to ask what type of computer equip you have that has the virus.

    i don't know if these people just want to steal our identities, use our computers as zombies to store illegal content, or they want to come and break into our home to rob us. NONE of that is good, and we are doing all we can to stop this. Blocking the number had them calling us from other numbers, so it is futile in our situation to block them.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    This doesn't sound like your usual scam.

    Typically, they give it a shot and give up. Sometimes they might try a couple of times before they give up. But your typical scam artist doesn't carry on so and simply does not loose it on the phone like that.

    It's not even a good scam.

    1. "Windows" would not know you had a virus on your computer, dangerous or not. Ok, let me rephrase that, tech support would not know if you have a virus or not unless you told them. It's not like they can scan your computer anytime they feel like it or even that your windows would send out some sort of beacon yelling that it has a virus. Windows itself doesn't recognize viruses, it recognizes errors viruses cause. Other software recognize viruses.

    2. Windows, or even windows tech support, could care less if anyone has a virus. It's no skin off their nose. And if worst comes to'll just have to buy Windows again.

    3. Windows tech support could not remove a virus from your computer. It takes an anti-viral program to do that, which you already know, loaded onto your computer.

    This is, instead, some sort of harassment. Maybe it is an amateur con artist, but I doubt it. Your husband teaches at college right? Think computer geeks maybe? I dunno. A con artist would try to stick to the scam, these guys obviously aren't.

    Call the police and file a report. Give them the number that comes up on caller ID each and every time they have called. If possible, start recording the calls.

    I love caller ID. Any number I don't recognize, I don't pick up. Simple. And I no longer have to put up with nonsense calls. :)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am well aware that there is zero chance that anyone from "Windows" would know, or care, if we had a virus. The call would come from some tech support that we had contacted, IF we chose that route to deal with a virus. Windows isn't even an entity, if this was legit it would be from Microsoft, and they don't do this. I know because I have several college buddies who are MS employees.

    I have contacted the police. Apparently this is a scam that they are seeing and while they happily take the phone numbers, they all show up as nothing meaning burner cell phones or online phone services that are not able to be traced. It is harassment but there is no way so far to trace it.

    I thought it was just pranks at first, but the police here told me that they have had reports of people who gave info and had their accounts drained or they found notices about someone trying to open credit accounts in their names with their info. It seems to be another type of scam, which is why I am warning others. I agree totally that it is highly ineffective and inefficient if the goal is just to get $$ from us. Criminals are not generally brain trusts though, and somewhere someone will try anything. HEck, we just found out exsil gave about $30k of her inheritance to a Nigerian scam ON PURPOSE so she would not have to pay for her daughter's expenses and could get my parents to pay for them. Idiots abound, Know what I mean??
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes, Susie, idiots abound. I do tend to forget that at times, especially when scams are so blatantly obvious to me. I think everyone should be able to see right through them.

    I could see M and Katie falling for such a scam quite easily. *sigh*

    I got an email the other day that was someone supposedly "legit" offering me free electric. I never even looked twice at the title. I only remember it because it struck me as a "new" scam. In these hard times though, I can see some people falling for that one too.

    Maybe these guys will trip up in the near future and get themselves caught. They don't sound very bright.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    It's possible that these folks are trying to get enough information from you that they can go in to your computer remotely and access bank account and other financial information. I don't remember now exactly what information is needed but I've done it before on purpose ... I've allowed my son-in-law (the computer genius) to access mine remotely from 600 miles away so he could go in, look around, and fix some problems I was having.
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I've been getting those "from microsoft" calls a couple a week for around 6 months, sometimes caller ID says unavailable, some out of state cell phone and some that the phone # looks like a car VIN # ... which leads me to believe this is a popular scam that lots of people are running.

    If I'm bored I start asking them all kinds of ?s like "oh my the kids use the computer, can you tell me how to turn it on?", "what button on front?" longest one made it about 3 minutes with me before heard him call me an idiot to one of his co workers and hung up on me.

    If doing something and see it on caller ID I ignore them, if accidentally pick up and don't want to talk to them I ask "are there really people stupid enough to fall for this?" laugh at them and hang up.

    One thing I noticed with this new format on the site (and they probably were always there I just didn't notice them) is robots here. Hopefully they are from the site just doing maintenance on the site, but wondered if its searching forums for personal info or to send all that spam that ends up in my email. Not sure - when I logged on noticed there were 18 members 276 guests and 150 robots this morning.

    My computer skills are horrible - I can turn it on and listen to music while I read stuff but that is about it. If I want to buy something online I do it from my son's computer (not this one) and have him take care of the payment info part for me and make sure I'm shopping in a "safe place" when logs me in. Usually I use to find which store has it at best price then drive there. Stuff like this is why I don't pay any of my bills etc online, I use computer as a toy not a tool (wouldn't put my personal info on side of kids bike, computer is same type thing to me)

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate scammers. I was getting so many spam calls on my cell phone that I put an app on it that tells me where the call is from, who the caller is if they actually list a name, say "unknown caller" if nothing is listed and a box comes up telling me if this number has been reported before by other people. If it is someone safe, it says safe. A few still get through but I just hang up on them.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I just have a rule that, unless I know who it is, I don't answer the phone. If it says "Unknown" I don't answer. If I don't recognize the number and there's no name showing on the Caller ID, I don't answer the phone. Works for me!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wish those were solutions for us. They are mostly calling our house phone, so loading an app won't work. Our tv/internet/phone bill goes up thirty dollars a month if we cancel the house phone (only phone on the package, cell phones are totally separate) so we don't want to cancel the phone.

    I am just fine not answering the phone and generally do not answer it. husband is a catastrophizer and he KNOWS that if we don't answer the phone every single time it rings, someone will die and we won't know for weeks or some other dreadful thing will happen and the sheriff will come to the house and threaten to arrest us. This drives me nuts. I won't stop something to rush to the phone. That phone is a window into my home. It opens if and when I choose to invite you into my home. If I don't want to talk, or talk to you, that is how it is. If it is important, you will find another way to contact me. I drive husband bonkers with this.

    I do understand how his fears started. When Jess was about 2 my gfgbro lived in another state in/around a national forest. Much of his time was spent in that forest for his job. When he came in to a town, he would call everyone he knew to catch up. Usually he called us (husband and i and the kids) at some point around midnight and he was far from sober. He would ramble for HOURS and if I had to get up to go to work at five am, well, that was not his problem. I got sick of it and hung up one night. He kept calling back over and over (and I had 2 kids upstairs asleep!) so I turned off the phone AFTER telling him to stop calling me for the night.

    My drunk gfgbro then called the sheriff in my town and told them that I had called him, in total hysteria, and that my husband was threatening to kill me and had a knife and gfgbro did't know if he had a gun.

    You can guess what happened. Our phone was off because he had already called so often that night. I couldn't sleep because of the tension and was sitting outside when a cop car came barreling into the parking lot. If I had been in the house, the cops would likely have woken up the entire complex, broken down the door if I didn't answer it the first knock, and they would have terrified everyone.

    After that night, my husband's panic over not answering the phone became extreme. It has been 15 years but he still has this reaction. So turning the phone off and even not answering when he is home is a big of a challenge, Know what I mean??

    Thanks for the ideas, and I am glad that many of you were unaare of this scam. I hope they don't ever start to call you.