feeling I was falling victim to Fraud

By
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

As fraud savvy I believe I am, I now know I have to remind myself daily I have Caller-id for a reason on all my telephones. 

A couple of days ago I got an early morning call waking me up out of my good sleep. 

I looked at the caller-id, and it said NO-NAME.  Normally, I would not answer the call, and just wait for them to leave a message.  The other morning in my waking up Fog I answered the call.  The Caller with an Indian accent announced He was calling from Microsoft. 

He told me their computer systems alerted them to call me because my computer was in danger of crashing within a couple of days.  He asked me to turn on my computer so he could show me where I had errors and warnings.  Still in my Fog I complied and followed his instructions as he showed me, and told me if I had more than five errors and warnings, my computer could crash any day now.  Note:  He used fear to get my cooperation. 

As I scrolled down and more than five errors and warnings were discovered he said the first O MY GOD. 

The Fog began to lift just a little.  He then asked me to go to a website where He would assist me with removing any virus from my computer.  I got the second O MY GOD, and the Fog lifted some more.  I asked can you please re-confirm you are from Microsoft, and you are going to remove any virus from my computer? 

He gave me an indirect answer.  Noteworthy!  What I got next was a telephone number to call - 266-777-0091 and a site to visit - http://cyber-support.net, in the event the call with him dropped.   

While He was giving me this information, the website He initially had me to visited gave him access to my computer. 

He began to again show me more errors and warnings, and I got the third O MY GOD from him.  The Fog lifted some more as I started to get that feeling I was falling victim to Fraud. 

I asked him again you are going to remove any virus during this call?  He said he would transfer the call to a technician who would.  Immediately, a lady with an Indian accent came on the line asking if I would allow her to explain how she would remove the virus?  She mentioned Microsoft support, and began to sell me on a maintenance service with a one year option starting at $199.    

Now, the Fog is totally lifted and I started asking more questions. 

I told her the Gentleman who initially called me never mentioned a charge for removing any virus from my computer.  He gave me the impression He was calling me directly from Microsoft, and this was their complimentary service.  She again indirectly told me the virus would be removed, and I could expect it to take one to one and half hours to remove it.  term fix, recommending I purchase their maintenance program. 

Now, the Fog totally lifted I told her I'm sorry I don't have $199 to give you.  She made a second attempt and when I made her accept I was fully aware of her Predator-Like agressiveness, she immediately ended the call.  I immediately deleted their access to my computer. 

As the Fog initially started to lift I thought I am going to allow this call to go as far as this can go short of me giving up any money, because I realized I needed to teach myself a lesson, and maybe my experience could help someone else from being defrauded. 

I have always purchased my computers through Dell, along with their maintenance concierge service.  Please know I don't mean this to be any kind of commercial for Dell.  The point I am making is I encourage you to make a note to yourself, if you have a maintenance plan on your computer, and you get a call like this from any one other than your maintenance plan, know you may be falling Prey to a Predator!

As I began to play along with this Fraud-Call, I knew I could call Dell and have them fix whatever was done to my computer.  

Once She hung up on me, I called Dell-Support and explained to the Technician what I had allowed.  He told me Microsoft does not make those kinds of calls.  He confirmed the Caller did install a virus in my computer.  It took Him all of a few minutes to remove it. 

This was a good lesson for me to trust my Caller-id.  I have made a habit of not answering no name or long distance numbers when they call.  I have found when these calls go to the answering machine they usually hang up when requested to leave a message. 

A couple of mornings ago I was all too human, and thought I'd take a chance and answer this call.  MISTAKE!  Answering led to my experiencing Fraud. 

When I look back on the experience I am amazed at how long it took me to get the feeling I was being Fraud-ed.  I was a good half an hour into the call before I started having that feeling. 

One of my best friends an Attorney told me some years ago I needed to stop going through life expecting everyone I encounter to show me their good intentions. 

He told me to daily please think like an Attorney specializing in Criminal Law, and always expect people to first show me the bad in them.  He told me I needed to create this protective mechanism for my self.  Now that's the kind of honest friend we all should have. 

Sadly this great man passed away within a few years after telling me about my all too human self. 

Fortunately, I could hear him in my ear as I started to realize I was allowing my self to become Prey.  At the point I was not giving up money or access to my money I stopped the Caller from making me become Devoured-Prey. 

It is a shame we must go through this life continuously placing a shield around ourselves because there are Predatorscooperation as a weapon against us. 

Please, use my experience as an excuse to not let this happen to you!     

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feeling i was falling victim to fraud

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Rainmaker
820,983
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Glad you realized the scammers for who they were.  And posting this warning will likely help someone else from making the same mistake of believing them.

Nov 23, 2013 01:37 AM #22
Rainmaker
699,256
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Great post thank you for sharing the info one must really becareful. No # means I will answer but will not give much info out

Nov 23, 2013 02:16 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,585,273
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Dale, I'm glad it didn't end poorly for you. You're right though, unfortunately, we do need to go through life with a certain level of defenses up to protect ourselves. There are a lot of predators out there, and they come in all different disguises. 

Nov 23, 2013 02:38 AM #25
Rainmaker
989,718
Aaron Hofmann
Atlanta Communities - Smyrna, GA
aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings

If you allowed them access to your computer, I would be concerned that they installed a trojan horse that will allow them to re-access your computer. Keep in mind that anti-virus software is only so good.

Nov 23, 2013 04:34 AM #26
Rainmaker
3,322,092
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

That's some experience! And it's probably akin to the warnings not to open attachments from people you don't know. Thankfully, you figured it out before serious damage was done.

Nov 23, 2013 05:03 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,509,006
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I'm glad you were able to remove that virus and it wasn't one of the new ones that have no cure.   Thanks for sharing.

Nov 23, 2013 05:55 AM #28
Rainer
355,932
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Dale, you were fortunate, it could have been much worse. Of course it's upsetting that it even occurred at all!

Nov 23, 2013 09:31 AM #29
Rainmaker
471,523
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

That's frightening!  I'm sure you would never have entertained the call at all if you had answered it wide awake.

Nov 23, 2013 10:00 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,317,651
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Dale - thanks for the heads up.  A couple of years ago this scam was goingaround in New Hampshire.  I checked on the internet and we did not respond to this plea.

Nov 23, 2013 11:29 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,561,684
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Any time someone calls you to report that you have something wrong with your:computer , bank account, etc. they're phising.

Nov 23, 2013 01:30 PM #32
Ambassador
1,211,136
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Dale, thanks for making us all aware of this scary situation. You are wise to regularly ignore calls on your personal phone that you do not recognize. Scam artists are plentiful; be safe.

Nov 23, 2013 02:01 PM #33
Rainmaker
767,665
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Glad you woke the rest of the way up when you did! Now, go move your phone far enough away from your bed that you have to get up and walk to answer it.

Nov 25, 2013 06:58 AM #34
Rainmaker
234,400
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

I have read every one of your comments and am so grateful all of you care so much for my well being.  I wish you an awesome Thanksgiving Feast filled with lots of love and joy.

Nov 26, 2013 07:24 AM #35
Rainmaker
98,143
Andrea Peters
The Andrea Peters Group @ HōM Realty - College Station, TX
SOLD with Andrea!

One of the agents in our office has been getting those calls. Between 8-10 calls per day, then they actually called our office line and asked for her. Our Team Leader had a little fun with that one on speaker phone. 

Nov 26, 2013 07:36 AM #36
Rainer
288,529
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

These guys know how to sound like experts.

Many of those they talk to are convinced that they need the recommended help.

If there is any question about your computer's problems, go to your antivirus supplier and make inquiry there.

Pat yourself on the back for avoiding those crooks.

Nov 27, 2013 07:35 AM #37
Rainmaker
750,820
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Good Morning and buyer beware!! This is some great Info keep up the good work and good luck in 2014,   E

Nov 28, 2013 11:26 PM #38
Rainmaker
418,884
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

Great information - But I don't think receiving a call anytime from someone who is telling me my computer or any other item has issues.  My thing how is it you're calling me about an issue!  I didn't call you so we have no issues - this converstation is now ending!  Good to know you didn't get scammed!  There's just too many out there and we all have to be aware.

Nov 29, 2013 03:46 AM #39
Rainmaker
891,920
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

It is so sad that there are people in this world that have to reap havoc and STEAL hard working people's money.

Nov 29, 2013 02:06 PM #40
Ambassador
3,984,588
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Dale, That is scary. I do not let anyone into my computer unless they are from the Geek Squad.

Dec 01, 2013 10:30 AM #41
Rainmaker
234,400
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Wow - each of you are amazing me with all your great comments.  I am really screening all the calls before I answer any.  Again, thanks for caring so much.

Dec 04, 2013 01:07 PM #42
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Rainmaker
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Dale Taylor

Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
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