1ST Scam - phishing email that scares you (AKA social engineering)
It starts with an email that appears to be from [Verizon / Paypal / Amazon] informing you that someone purchased a $792.85 iPhone 12 using your account. There is a toll-free number to call if it was not you who ordered. You call and the customer service agent offers to refund the money to your account.

Warning signs that this is a scam: There is a lot of noisy chatter in the background and the agent speaks broken English.

2nd Scam - steal your money
The agent talks their way into your computer and gets you to sign into the bank account that you want the money credited to. He completes the refund, then yells “OH NO! I ENTERED THE WRONG AMOUNT BY $18,000! I WILL GET FIRED!!” The agent insists that you need to return the $18,000 overage that was mistakenly deposited into your account. He even shows you the deposit that was made to your account. The agent gives you all of the information that you need to give your bank to wire transfer the $18,000 from your bank to his account. The problem is that you are sending him your real hard-earned money; his deposit will not clear in a few days.

Warning sign that this is a scam: is the money being wired to an account offshore,

3rd Scam - lock you out of your computer and steal your identity
When the agent was in your computer, he installed malicious software that does at least 4 things:
1) Installed a back door that allows him to look at your computer any time. You see your mouse move by itself!
2) Changed your sign in password so you cannot get into your own computer until they receive your payment.
3) They call you often to see when you are sending their money, but not give you the new sign in password. NOTE: their phone number is on your caller ID.
4) Transfers your files to their computer to steal your identity.

Warning sign that this is a scam: NO legitimate company locks you out of your computer!

Recovering from the Scam

1) You will need to hire a forensic technical specialist to clean up your computer, copy your files offline, reinstall your windows 10 operating system, printer and other software to create a functional computer for you.
2) You need to report the scam to your local police fraud department; they may not be able to get your money back because the scam is being run from outside our country.
3) You need to change all of your passwords.
4) You need to have your bank open a new account, transfer the money from your old account, set up the new account in your online banking, give you a list of the companies who auto deposit and auto withdraw from the old account.
5) You need to call all of those companies with the account number and routing number of the new account.

Learn to recognize phishing emails, because responding to one is what started this whole nightmare!
1) The sender’s email and links in the email do not match the domain of the company supposedly sending them email (e.g., not, not, not
2) The email has grammatical and spelling errors
3) The email either offers you a reward (appeals to your greed) or scares you (appeals to your fear).
4) The email requires you to provide personal information (age, address, social security number, drivers license, sign in credentials, etc.) to get what they are offering.

I am committed to protect your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 when it is time to renew your protection software, or if you need computer and internet help. Be well.

By Linda Lindquist, August 16, 2021