The tech support scam is alive and well, supported by my neighbors

No wonder I get so many calls offering to remove the virus from my computer. This scam is alive, well, and highly profitable. And not all of the loot is transferred through iTunes cards, but in cash.

A local shipping company seems to have taken it upon themselves to thwart the scammers by looking into suspicious packages.

It’s a little disturbing that a clerk would feel free to open up a package I left with them for shipping, as I have used their services occasionally, but I guess they can get by with that legally since they are not USPS or UPS or Fedex employees. I only hope they don’t get in trouble for this. Who’s gonna sue?

who sends $8,000 because you have a virus on your computer? You could buy 10 computers for that kind of money.

The innocent, elderly, and digitally clueless are the most likely victims. Since we are a heavily retirement-oriented community, we are probably easy pickings.

It might be, to relate a real life example, someone who has something ultra important on their hard drive like their doctoral thesis and NEVER MADE A BACKUP. Yep, in an age where there are numerous user friendly ways to back up/protect your files, I had a case just like that.

My desktop at home has been backed up as an image file so, if I’m infected or suffer total hard drive failure, I just need to clean and format a hard drive and reinstall the image file to get my machine back exactly the way it was.

Someone with senior dementia. Symptoms include: Reduced ability to organize, plan, reason, or solve problems; Difficulty handling complex tasks; Confusion and disorientation. This is why the elderly are so often prey for scammers. Some of them are not competent to handle their own money or make wise decisions because their brains are literally falling apart.

My own mother, who died years ago in the pre-computer age, fell for something a little like this, albeit not for $8K. I can only blame it on pre-dementia, as she lived normally for several years after.

I mean, good–great–for them. But isn’t there anything a little weird about just opening up a package without permission somebody asks you to send out? Or am I misunderstanding the events?

We knew my Dad was really starting to decline when dozens of magazine subscriptions opened in his name started showing up at his house :frowning:

Pretty sure you’re not misunderstanding.

And yes, there is something a little weird about it, but I’m not sure if it falls under any kind of illegal. Or what kind of liability they’re setting themselves up for.

I read a few days ago about a joint operation between MS and Indian police to arrest a bunch of people doing the tech support scam thing.

Yesterday I got my first MS tech support scammer phone call in a loooong while.

So, a job well done.

I posted on the mini-rants thread in the pit about recently discovering that my mother had sent $5 checks to over 20 charities that keep mailing her “stuff”. Then yesterday she told me about two men with rakes who showed up at her house and wanted to rake the leaves in her front yard. They had a little girl with them and she thought they must be nice men. They told her it would be $30 but, of course, when they were done, they said it was $30 each. Fortunately, she did not have more cash and they didn’t ask for a check. She told me this story but not in a way that she understood that this is not a good thing. I’m really getting concerned that she is not thinking clearly and I know there are so many ways people can take advantage of her.

I hate to say this, but you may need to take over her finances completely. Mr.Wrekker had to takeover his Dads money, car keys and everyday chores. From housekeeping, meals and personal hygiene. It was hard, hard, hard. His Dad fought him everyday. He had been very independent. He was making bad decisions and getting into trouble frequently. It was the only answer. I can’t say the man ever got use to it. He didn’t. But it was that or a nursing home. Had to be done. Good luck with your Mom.

Here’s one I haven’t yet seen, but I’m sure I will. Probably when one of my neighbors calls me in a panic.

This scam automatically dials the fake tech support line for you. How helpful.

This reminds me of an old joke. An optometrist customer asks how much her new glasses will be, and is told, “Thirty dollars.”

If the customer doesn’t blink, the optometrist says, “…for the frames. And $30 for the lenses.”

If the customer still doesn’t blink or protest, the optometrist says, “Each.”

My honest first thought: An image file? You mean like a jpeg? You took a picture of your desktop and saved the picture in case you need to restore?

A .img file. It’s a form of a whole directory or disk structure packed into one file. If you’ve ever installed something like a Raspberry Pi distro or some Android OSes they come in that or similar format. You write it to an SDcard using a program like Win32 Disk Imager.

Glasses for only 90 bucks??? Where do I sign up!

I got a call from “Microsoft” yesterday. Asked for me by name even. I asked the fellow if his mother knew he was a thief and a scammer. I’ve done that in the past. Usually they argue; one time the fellow said “yes!”. This time, I think I dumbfounded him - he said nothing.

Get in your time machine and set the dial for 1965. Works every time.

I haven’t gotten any of the tech support scammers for a while, just the credit card ones. I can usually keep on on the line for at least five minutes before he figures out that I’m just yanking him around.