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Fake tech support scam

Discussion in 'General Security' started by Msumpthin, Oct 22, 2017.

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  1. Msumpthin

    Msumpthin Thread Starter

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    I gave my older computer to my aunt and uncle (they are in their 80's). I'm not certain of all the details, but this is what I know. They were having some simple issues and needed help. I wasn't available so they got help from an unknown outside party. This person locked up their computer. The operating system has been changed and no known passwords work. I replaced the first computer with another, not realizing how bad the problem was, and they have remotely done the same to it as well. The fake tech person got into their bank account and stole several hundred dollars of their very limited income and they had to change their bank account info. Can I do anything to fix the two computers and what do I need to do to stop this guy from doing this again? How do I keep him out of family and friends smartphones and tablets?
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    I would format the hard drives and install fresh operating systems (or "recover to factory defaults").


    Keep your aunt and uncle away from the computers or teach them that no one except you can advise them what to do with the computers and no one but you and they are allowed to touch the computers locally or remotely.


    Teach your family and friends some safety rules for phones, tablets, computers, and the multitude of other electronics that may have internet access. Report any useful information to the proper local (police) authorities and hope that a few of these crooks are caught.
     
  3. Msumpthin

    Msumpthin Thread Starter

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  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You're welcome. :) And good luck with the relatives--it's tough for a lot of people to learn to distrust people.
     
  5. Msumpthin

    Msumpthin Thread Starter

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    Unfortunately I do have to give the repaired computer back. How do I keep this guy out? I believe this is the 3rd computer he has hijacked. Do I have to set up a new internet connection, they have DSL?
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Do they have a router? It's rare, but I've heard that it is possible to insert malware onto a router. If they have one, make sure it has the latest firmware from the manufacturer; then reset it to factory defaults (make sure you know how to configure it first!) and reconfigure it. Make sure you change its login password and disable remote access (usually the default).

    Even with no router the Windows (or third party) firewall should be sufficient protection--assuming, of course, that nobody invites the guy in by clicking on a link in email or by otherwise opening up the computer to him.

    If your aunt or uncle calls the guy or he calls them and they allow him access to the computer there is nothing you can do unless you are there and pull the plug.
     
  7. Msumpthin

    Msumpthin Thread Starter

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    They have a modem rented through Frontier. The first time they dealt with this person my uncle gave him his email, his phone number and any other information he asked for. He thought, of course, that he was dealing with a professional. They keep calling trying to say they are supposed to be monitoring his computer, and he owes them money. He says the original guy never said anything about monitoring, however, this is the third different computer. I first thought just changing the computer would work. He keeps getting in. Getting frustrated. Firewalls are on.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    If the "modem" is a modem/router combo then my comments about "router" in post # 6 apply to it. And since there may be little or no customer control and there probably is remote access to it I would demand a new model and then also daisy chain my own router to it rather than connecting a computer directly to it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  9. Msumpthin

    Msumpthin Thread Starter

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    Thank-you so much. You have been a big help.
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    You're welcome; and I hope this really helps.
     
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