Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Scam - Part II

It's only been about 24 hours since I heard about this scam, so we're not far into the process. Those scammers downloaded EVERYTHING off his computer. Everything. There good news, if there IS any to be found in this mess, is that he didn't have a quicken or Excel file anywhere that would have contained his important information. But, if they have his password to his email - which is the same password he has for everything - then they have access to WAY too much information.

So, the first thing he did was unplug the computer. (Closing the barn door after the horses have all left.)

Next, he called his Credit Union to report it and to stop his cards. For some reason it sounded to me like they only stopped his check card and not his Visa, so I encouraged him to call them back tomorrow to be sure they canceled both.

Next, he called the FBI to report it. The thinking was that they would then be on the alert for activity on his Social Security number. Wrong. They suggested he visit and file a report. Of course he can't do that on his computer, so he'll have to do it from work .

He will also be paying a company their $10/month fee to watch over and protect his SS#. An identity theft protection company. So, he's now got $120/yr added expense.

And he'll be coming over to my place on Sunday? Why? Well, I, being the closest thing to tech support that he can find, will spend much of Sunday reinstalling Windows XP. We'll format c: and start fresh. Of course, his CD is six years old, so the number of updates will be mind blowing, I'm sure. I'd rather chew razor blades than to sit and fuss with Windows all day, but that's what's going to happen. It's a full day's work. I KNOW why tech folks charge at least $200 to do it. It would be SO much easier if he could somehow spring for a new laptop, but I know that to be out of the question, as well.

Once again, PLEASE send an email to everyone in your address book and warn them against this scam. This isn't over by a long shot. It's going to get more costly as it moves forward. Costly both in terms of money AND time.

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