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Elderly mother was falling for Indian (MS) phone scam


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#1 zzyzxgal

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 05:49 PM

So, I got home tonight and my mom told me that 4 hours ago she was called about messages that her computer was sending that indicated trouble.... Well, you know how the rest goes. The only reason she mentioned it to me was that they were calling her back since she couldn't pay them the money until I got home. I just yelled something at them and hung up.

 

I checked her computer and "showmypc" was running. My kneejerk reaction was to exit it & shut off her wi-fi access.  Then in (possibly) a compete panic I turned off our router & modem just because I didn't want any network access.

 

Now that I've had a chance to calm down... I've connected us to the outside world again. But I'm wondering if there is a way to:

 

1) Find out what they were accessing in the 4 hours they were connected to my mom's laptop.

2) The likelihood that they could've accessed anything else on the network through that program.

3) Any measures that I should take in the aftermath.

 

I've been studying for my Security+ certification but it's just skimming so much of the surface that I feel like it's done more to alarm me than to make me feel competent at securing my network.

 

Any ideas from you awesome folk would sure help.

 

Thanks.



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#2 buddy215

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:00 PM

It is likely your mom can do everything she does on the computer by using a Linux OS. If the two of you share a computer

then her using Linux would isolate her computing from you. The only users I suggest to stick with Windows are those who use

Microsoft office or play games that only work on a Windows platform. To date, Linux malware is a rarity. No need to hassle with

security programs.

If that interests you, and you want to know more of how simple it is to dual boot a Linux distro or use in other ways.

 

There have been several reports here at BC recently of this type of scam.


Edited by buddy215, 28 October 2015 - 07:01 PM.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#3 zzyzxgal

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 07:48 PM

Hmmm. That might keep her out of trouble.

 

She has her own laptop. 

 

I have a linux partition on one of my computers but I never thought of dual boot on her computer. She does use MS Office.



#4 quietman7

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:49 PM

Unsolicited phone calls (aka Tech Support Scamming) and browser pop-up alerts with phone numbers from "so-called Support Techs" advising your computer is infected with malware has become an increasing common and prolific scam tactic over the past several years.

In the majority of these cases the scammers use social engineering to trick a victim into spending money to buy a an application which claims to remove malware. They typically use bogus warning messages or web page pop-ups which look like a BSOD to falsely indicate that your computer is infected or has critical errors. This is done as a scare tactic to goad you into calling a phony tech support phone number shown in the pop-up alert and allowing the scammer remote control access to your computer in order to fix the problem. In some cases you are instructed to download malicious software which will actually infect your system.

If the scam involves a phone call, the caller may claim to be an employee affiliated with Microsoft or Windows Support. However, there have been reports of callers claiming to be affiliated with major computer manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard, Lenovo and Dell or familiar security vendors like Symantec and McAfee.

Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls or send unsolicited email messages to request personal or financial information or to fix your computer.

Typically, the scammers attempt to trick their victims into believing that their computer is infected, often by having them look at a Windows log that shows dozens of harmless or low-level error entries. The scammer instructs their victim to type "eventvwr" in the RUN box to open Windows Event Viewer and then scares them by pointing out all the warnings and error messages listed under the various Event Viewer categories. In other cases the caller pretends to provide free security checks or direct the download and use of a bogus registry cleaner which purports to find thousands of problems.

The scammer then attempts to talk (scare) their victims into giving them remote access to the computer in order to fix it and/or remove malware. If the victim agrees, the support usually costs hundreds of dollars and often leaves the victim's computer unchanged or intentionally infected with malware/ransomware. More nefarious scammers will install a backdoor Trojan or Remote Access Trojan in order to steal passwords and other sensitive personal information which could then be used to access bank accounts or steal a person's identity.

Not answering any questions and hanging up the telephone is the best way to deal with phone scammers...then report them to the appropriate authorities.

If you want a comprehensive look at your system for possible malware, you should start a new topic in the Am I infected? What do I do? forum.


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#5 zzyzxgal

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:40 PM

Thank you, I will.



#6 quietman7

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 05:45 PM

You're welcome and good luck.
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