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Author Topic: $Soft Scam  (Read 4393 times)

eliallen

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$Soft Scam
« on: September 18, 2014, 04:11:10 PM »
My friend (around 75 ) fell for the  Microsoft scam. They spent several hours on her computer. She has notified everyone and subscribed to credit watch.   Now  the computer, can it be cleaned or should I just Fdisk and format?

gkas

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 04:36:08 PM »
No telling what's on there. Save the data (not programs), photos, etc., then do a FDisk, a low-level format, and reinstall the OS.

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 04:53:52 PM »
Yep, pull off whatever data you can, then scan that with several malware scanners to insure you haven't copied off any infected files.  If you have a recovery disk, or there is a recovery partition, use that.  It will restore the computer to its original configuration.

Of course, if you had a recent image backup, that would be the simplest and quickest way to recover.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

eliallen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 05:38:29 PM »
Thanks, that was my thoughts.

8Muddypaws

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 05:54:41 PM »
Before you format the disk.

The most common thing they install is Crypto-Locker.  If you go to www.majorgeeks.com and search on that name you'll find several FREE programs that will remove it and hundreds of others.  I have never gotten a bad program from MajorGeeks.

In the meantime tell your friend to not buy anything on line and don't use that computer for ANY financial transaction, even checking balances.

I keep a stack of laptops ready to loan out for people who don't know how to protect themselves but can't live for a day without their computer, Facebook, games etc.  nothing is more irritating than having someone hovering or calling every 15 minutes.

When I get my laptops back I restore them to the saved image I have.
Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter and music director
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

kjansen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 08:27:15 PM »
What is the name of the Microsoft scam or the people doing it?
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 08:45:37 PM »
The Microsoft scam works like this: you get a phone call telling you that they (Microsoft) have detected problems with your computer and if you go to a specified web site, they will connect to your computer remotely and fix your problems.  If you do that, you give the caller complete access to your computer files.  Microsoft will NEVER call you nor can they detect problems on your computer in any way.

As for Cryptolocker, it's not done like the MS phone call scam.  It's done by email attachments.  See this article for the details.

This particular problem is not Cryptolocker.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

eliallen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 07:10:57 AM »
Ned is right, It's a company  Maven Infotech Pvt Ltd, West Bengal, India. They had her installed Team Viewer to access her computer.I have removed Team viewer and scanned the computer with 5 different programs and have found nothing. I will format and reinstall windows.

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 07:29:42 AM »
It's likely they didn't install any malware on the computer but probably copied off a lot of files.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that.  TeamViewer is a very useful program, I use for remote assistance for my friends' computers.  It's free for personal use, but not for commercial purposes.  I would let TeamViewer know about this company and their use of TeamViewer, I'd bet they don't have a commercial use license, and TeamViewer may be interested in pursuing them.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

eliallen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 08:02:54 AM »
Good idea, Never thought about doing that.

scottydl

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2014, 09:13:59 AM »
subscribed to credit watch.

Side note: many of these credit monitoring services only notify you once am identity breach has already occurred... doesn't do much in the way of prevention, unless there are several attempts to a particular account first.  If you feel inclined to subscribe to a protection/payback service for your credit record, look for one that works like an insurance policy and reimburses you for any losses.  Zander Insurance has one - and no I don't have any affiliation with them, I've just heard good reviews of the service.  Supposedly they also have financial counselors who will contact the credit bureaus on your behalf to get your record cleaned up, if an identity theft ever occurs.

P.S. There's a good chance that your friend has now been (or will be) put on contact lists for other scams... make sure she gets used to hanging up on anyone she doesn't know that asks about any of her personal/financial information!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

therealsimpsons

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2014, 11:32:41 AM »
Of course, if you had a recent image backup, that would be the simplest and quickest way to recover.

Ned,

What do you mean by a recent image backup? On our three month trip out west, I spilled coffee on my laptop, rendering it useless. I took it to a guy in West Yellowstone who was able to copy the entire C drive to an external HD that I have. I have since bought a new laptop, but can only copy the data files, pictures, and videos from the backup. The copy of the entire drive could not be substituted. Or so I was told. Is there another way?

Stan
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

eliallen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2014, 11:52:00 AM »
P.S. There's a good chance that your friend has now been (or will be) put on contact lists for other scams... make sure she gets used to hanging up on anyone she doesn't know that asks about any of her personal/financial information!
She changed her phone # and e-mail address. Her daughter helped with everything else.   It is surprising how many people don't know about this scam. More people need to learn how to hang up.

Alfa38User

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2014, 12:03:39 PM »
Stan,

Not Ned but ....

A copy is not the same thing as an image. An image is made by an imaging program such as Acronis True Image, (there are others too), that copy the drive sector by sector and not file by file and by (usually) using compression, shrink the size of the created file(s). The resulting "mirror" image can then be restored to a new drive using the Acronis software boot disc (which you prepared on a CD/USB drive and tested at the time you made your first image) from the multiple DVD/CDs/USB device or a physically separate drive on which the image was created. EVERYTHING is imaged, even the operating system, thus a complete system can be re-created on the new hard drive. The software will walk you through most of the steps required. Images usually have to be restored by the same brand of software that created them.

BUT that word 'recent' implies the backup image has to be done fairly often or you might be missing some files that are important to you as well as any updates to the operating system. The operating system itself is not all that important as you can get the updates again from Windows automagically but there could be quite a few. The data backups can always be done incrementally between images but this has to be something that you have to do often too.

This makes me think!! I have not done an image backup in a long while.... time to get off my duff and just do it!!!!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 12:48:56 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Alfa38User

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2014, 12:16:45 PM »
She changed her phone # and e-mail address. Her daughter helped with everything else.   It is surprising how many people don't know about this scam. More people need to learn how to hang up.

My wife and I received quite a few calls from these guys always answering that I did not own a computer. They insisted they could see I was on line and had a problem.  It only stopped after I said to the last guy "What part of 'I don't own a computer do you not understand??' " My responses did not seem to faze them in any way until the last guy finally realized what I had said and hung up on me. No more calls since then... heh heh!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 12:38:16 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

8Muddypaws

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2014, 12:21:19 PM »
Backing up the entire disk is actually easier than backing up only files.  If your disk fails or the operating system gets corrupted it takes less than me less than an hour to restore it.

I use a number of tools but the easiest one for most people is Easus ToDo backup.  It's free for non commercial use.  Www.majorgeeks.com

Things to know if you use ToDo:
Do a full disk backup to an external drive.  I do my computers once a month.
Save more than one backup.  I save at least 2 for most computers.
Use ToDo to create a boot device.  This can be a CD or a USB memory device.
Then test a recovery.  Go as far as booting from the device/CD you created and selecting the backup image, then cancel it.

You can mount a backup image as a virtual disk and recover files too.
Retired computer professional
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2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

scottydl

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2014, 12:48:59 PM »
Windows 7 (and I'm sure Windows 8 and beyond) have an image-backup utility, at least that's what they make it sound like in their Backup & Restore functions.  I run it once/month to a 2TB external hard drive (the process takes 1-2 hours), that way if my computer crashes or otherwise dies I know I still have everything backed up no more than 1 month old.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

8Muddypaws

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2014, 12:58:38 PM »
Microsoft will never call you.  If there's something really bad on your computer your Internet service provider will send you an email with instructions to call their support number.  There will not be any links or numbers in the email, if there re it's probably a scam.

Ways to deal with the Windows Scam

Ask them for a phone number to call back.

Tell them their IPA has been logged and a traceroute is currently searching for their location and ask them to stay on the line for 20 seconds more.

If they sound Indian ask them how Karma is going to effect them for working for a criminal enterprise?

Play dumb.  Get every instruction they give you wrong.  But DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO CONNECT TO YOUR COMPUTER!  My DW did that to them the last time and they called her a MotherF........ Just before hanging up.  So we know she really pissed them off.  It was glorious!

Tell them there's smoke coming out the back of the computer, can they help with that?

Or my personal favorite - ask them which computer?  Then I boot up an Apple, Linux, SteamOS, or whatever else I'm playing with and lead them down the rabbit hole.

But usually I just practice my creative profanity and hang up.

I just thought of a new one:
Tell them you just hacked the last person to work on your computer to bits with a machete and ask if they can help remove the evidence.

Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter and music director
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

ArdraF

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2014, 01:48:12 PM »
When we got about the millionth Microsoft scam call two weeks ago, Jerry decided to have some fun.  He told them we no longer have a "Microsoft computer" because it died and we switched to an Apple computer.  Well, lo and behold, the fellow who two minutes earlier told him he worked for Microsoft tech support now works for Apple tech support.  Isn't that amazing.  He changed employers in less than two minutes.  It got so absurd Jerry finally told him he was lying and ran him around the ring a few times before hanging up.  He asked him if he had no shame preying on unsuspecting people.  Of course, he doesn't even know IF we have a computer, much less what kind.  Too bad there are so many gullible people out there.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

scottydl

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2014, 02:19:47 PM »
Remember too that these callers are just people working for some company in India (or wherever), reading off of a script like any telemarketer.  They probably get commission whenever they actually dupe some innocent victim and are able to obtain/steal financial information.  Does that make it right or acceptable?  Certainly not!  But it likely will not change anything to "catch" or "fool" them in their lies.  Best bet is just to hang up. 

FWIW I almost never get any telemarketer calls of any fashion on my cell phone.  I haven't had a landline since March 2003 (11+ years) when I last moved.  I rarely even answer the phone anymore unless I know the person calling, or am expecting a call from a business, etc.  If it's that important, they'll leave a message!  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2014, 02:30:18 PM »
Ned,

What do you mean by a recent image backup? On our three month trip out west, I spilled coffee on my laptop, rendering it useless. I took it to a guy in West Yellowstone who was able to copy the entire C drive to an external HD that I have. I have since bought a new laptop, but can only copy the data files, pictures, and videos from the backup. The copy of the entire drive could not be substituted. Or so I was told. Is there another way?

As others have said, an image is just that, a bit by bit copy of the hard drive.  It can be restored to a new drive in the same computer, as long as the new drive is the same size or larger than the old drive.  Acronis was mentioned, and there are other programs that can handle an image backup, including tools built in to Windows.  My personal backup scheme is a full image backup on the 1st of every month, then incrementals every night for the rest of the month.  I am never more than 24 hours out of date if my hard drive dies.  Also, I can access those backups like any disk drive to retrieve individual files or folders, if the need arises.  Of course, the image backups are on a separate drive from the drive being imaged, but that should be obvious :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

8Muddypaws

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2014, 07:24:36 PM »
I used to recommend Acronis.  But it failed me one too many times.  If the Acronis boot disk actually worked it would not recognize the disk the image was stored on.  Or told me the image was corrupted, even after the image was verified by Acronis.

That's why I suggested testing the restore process.

Some restoration tools are picky about the target disk size.  Since each manufacturer calculates it differently that can be a problem.

What I do is to shrink the active partition to be as small as possible before I back it up.  Easus also makes a free tool to do that.  (I do not work for Easus, honest. I don't work for anybody but I build and maintain lots of Red Cross computers & servers.). That way I don't need to find the exact sized drive, or larger, to get a borked computer restored.  It only needs to be larger than the reduced partition size.  Most of our computers have 500GB drives, of which about 27 GB is actually used.  So I could throw and old 40 in and make it work. 
Retired computer professional
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2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2014, 08:42:10 PM »
I, also, no longer recommend Acronis.  I left them years ago when each new version was worse than the previous.  I switched to ShadowProtect Desktop and never looked back.  It's been flawless, and I don't even have the latest version.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

kjansen

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2014, 06:01:12 AM »
Has anyone ever dealt with Fastfix 123 out of Florida?
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

therealsimpsons

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2014, 10:12:42 AM »
As others have said, an image is just that, a bit by bit copy of the hard drive.  It can be restored to a new drive in the same computer, as long as the new drive is the same size or larger than the old drive.  Acronis was mentioned, and there are other programs that can handle an image backup, including tools built in to Windows.  My personal backup scheme is a full image backup on the 1st of every month, then incrementals every night for the rest of the month.  I am never more than 24 hours out of date if my hard drive dies.  Also, I can access those backups like any disk drive to retrieve individual files or folders, if the need arises.  Of course, the image backups are on a separate drive from the drive being imaged, but that should be obvious :)

Still confused. Sorry. So, in my scenario of dumping coffee on my laptop, this would not work, because I would be putting it on a new laptop that doesn't have an OS?

Stan
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

Ned

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2014, 10:31:08 AM »
If the new computer is identical to the old one, it would work.  But if the new computer is a different model, with different mother board, ports and peripherals, then probably not.  There are some image backup programs that claim to be able to restore to different hardware, but I've not attempted that.  Better to us the OS that comes on the new computer and just reinstall programs and copy data files from your backup.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

8Muddypaws

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Re: $Soft Scam
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2014, 11:33:53 AM »
If the new computer is 100% identical it would work until The OS does a validity check and sees that it's running on a different processor ID.  Unless you happen to have an enterprise license it will begin nagging you immediately and stop working in 30 days.

Even machines that are identical aren't always 100%.  In my corporate career we bought hundreds to thousands of computers and even when we stipulated that they had to be 100% identical we'd find differences that effected the complex applications we were rolling out.

W7&8 are pretty good at automatically installing device drivers so you might not have too many problems with the actual hardware working.

However, if you've smoked the machine and have to replace it you can still mount the backup as a virtual disk to recover your documents, pictures, music etc.

BTW:  I got a spam email this morning from tiger direct (www.tigerdirect.com) offering a 750GB WD 2.5" external drive for $29.  http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=8996636&sku=WED-102414040&SRCCODE=WEBBP2134&cm_lm=russellcausey@comcast.net&cm_mmc=email-_-Retro-_-WEBBP2134-_-tigeremail2134&utm_source=EML&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=WEBBP2134
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 11:50:02 AM by 8Muddypaws »
Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter and music director
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

 

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