Patchers Warn Neighbors of Latest Computer Scam

A Patcher takes the time to warn her neighbors about a computer scam making the rounds in Lamorinda. Take heed.


Patcher Jewelz Tucker (bless her Patchy little heart) warns us all about a telephone/computer scam making the rounds. Her family didn't fall for it -- hopefully yours won't, either.

"Hi Patchers, just thought I'd give you an FYI. We had a call a few minutes ago from a man (from a call center). He said he was from "Windows Maintanence Department". Immediately a red- flag went up. This gentleman wanted us to get into our control panel and find info for him. Out of curiosity, we played along for a short while. Finally we got tired of the game and my husband got on the phone and got the guy to hang up."

Wise move, Tucker family. Turns out the FBI has been inundated with complaints related to this con, which had you been less astute would have allowed the "caller" access to your computer and personal information via a remote connection.

So far, we haven't heard of any locals falling for this one (though they are still falling for the "I'm in jail in Canada can you send bail money"-con) so forewarned is forearmed.

Also, we are hearing that the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has been inundated with complaints about Reveton malware, a computer virus known as ransomware because it freezes computers until victims pay up.

An FBI information officer said a click on an infected website is all it takes to load the ransomware, which locks down the targeted computer and displays a popup with the FBI logo warning that it has been linked to child pornography, unlicensed materials or "computer-use negligence." The user is instructed to pay a fine to avoid prosecution and regain control of the computer.

Victims report their laptop freezes with a popup appearing on the screen demanding sums ranging between $50 and $500, with payment made through an untraceable money transfer interface, before control of the computer is returned.

Something else to watch out for, I know, but information is intelligence. Stay frosty.

Eliz September 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I had a call from the windows people yesterday. Luckily the guy's English was so poor that he had to switch to 2 other guys before I understood what he was asking me to do. I had not called Microsoft. Luckily, my husband said "hang up". It was mostly because it was a frustrating experience. Now, I know there could be more to it.
BitguyBV September 06, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I got the same call. English was not even passable! I asked if they were kidding and hung up.


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