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Regular Contributor

Some basic scammer and hacker info

You can avoid being a victim if you just remember a few basic things.

 

IRS will never call you.

SSA will never call you.

Amazon will never call you unless you have called them and asked them to.

Your credit card company will never offer you 0% interest. Interest is how they make money.

Nobody can see that you have foreign connections.

Never allow anybody to connect to your computer.

If anybody claims to be from a credit card or a bank, hang up, get your card, and call the number on it and ask if they called you. Almost 100% of the time they did not unless you have something going on that you initiated.

 

One of the more popular scams is called The Tech Support Scam. Someone calls you and says that 2 or 3 years ago you bought software to protect your computer, and that it is expiring and will be charged to your credit card unless you cancel. When you say you want to cancel (and listen to THIS logic) they then say that they will cancel AND refund your money (usually $300). Well, if you really had a product and used it for the last 2 or 3 years, how would you have a refund coming? If you get the call, ask them for the original order number that you bought the software on. If you foolishly allow them to connect to your computer and compound the felony by opening your online banking, what happens next is this. They will run a command called "Tree" which does nothing more than display all the files on your computer. While that is running the will put up a fake "cancellation form". And they do it in a DOS window that not only doesn't look like a form at all, but every line you enter will show "bad command or file name". And they try to keep you so distracted that you don't see it. And if you are not computer savvy, you don't know what to look for. The last line of that "form" is "refund amount". The game is that they have YOU enter 300, and then THEY add an extra zero and hit enter. They then tell you to open your online banking. And this is the scam. They manipulate the coding that makes up your bank page to make it look like they transferred money and make the faked transfer $3000 instead of $300. They then play on your emotions, saying they will lose their job if you don't refund the money. They then say that you can't just reverse the transfer and you have to buy gift cards. They then sell those gift cards to brokers in the US for a deeply reduced rate, often as low as 25 cents on the dollar, and to them in India that is a lot of money. You are out the money, and the money launderer gets his money from the card.

 

So, when you get calls like this, have a fake name ready. I have at least 50 fake names. Benny Fishiary, Carney Asada.... If they continue the scam using a ridiculous obviously made-up name, I mean, c'mon now.

 

Bottom line, be smart. Never let anybody connect to your computer. Never. Ever.

 

One of the scams is that if you let them connect they go to your user account page and change your password. It takes about 10 seconds to do that and if you are not paying attention they will sneak it in. They then try to extort money to change it back. They will try to bully, intimidate, threaten.... they are truly despicable bastards. DO NOT let them get you.

 

I am HAPPY to answer questions. In fact, I am so willing to help I will offer you this. You can email ne at one of my throwaway accounts. Put Question from AARP in the subject so I know what it is. Send them to benny.fishiary@juno.com and I will answer them when I see them. I worked for years in IT and really do know the scams after spending time in cyber security at some of my many contract jobs.

These people prey on the basic human nature of greed and the notion that there is such a thing as a free lunch. We are all seniors here and we all know nothing is free.

Regular Contributor

Excellent information!

 

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