January 10th, 2017, 08:49 PM
Lock Out Scam - Thoughts?
My Mother, who is 92,
got a phone call that said she would get $250 Microsoft Dollars if she went to this website and signed up. Naturally she did it, but she is not too eager to give the details. Fortunately, when the website asked her to enter a dollar amount, she mis-typed it, and the transaction couldn't go through. They called her back and threatened to call the Sheriff and to disable her computer and so on. Remember this was over Voice Phone, not in a email or anything like that.
Now the computer (an old Win-XP Dell) is stalled at the Win-XP log on screen. I tried doing a restart in SAFE MODE hoping to bypass the Password request.
I tried restarting in the "Last known good Configuration". No luck, always hits the password.
She doesn't remember the website she went to, and she won't say whether she gave her bank account information. I think she is a bit embarrassed.
This is in a small town, so we know the people who work at the bank, we called them and explained what happened. So they are going to keep their eye open for any unusual electronic transfers.
Does this particular scheme sound familiar to anyone, and has anyone figured out how to get past the Password?
It is not a total disaster as I just bought a new computer and was intending to give her my old computer, but now she can't transfer her emails, adress books, and other personal stuff like photos. Fortunately she does not have much of that. She usually keeps her email account pretty cleared out. She can get the old email address back by other means. So, while it will be inconvenient, she is not dead in the water. Plus she as a small Smart Pad she can use to access Facebook.
Back to the Lock-Out. Does anyone recognize this scam, and does anyone have a solution to it?
Thanks for your time.
Steve in MN
Last edited by boyblue; January 10th, 2017 at 08:58 PM.
January 10th, 2017, 09:24 PM
It is a scam that happens way too often and is often aimed specifically at the elderly who may not be totally aware of the implications and consequences. We can't get into ways of bypassing passwords here at VRDR because that would contravene our site rules/AUP but there are some options. You could take the hard drive out of the computer and attach it as a slave to another one and extract all the files/info etc that way. Or you could take it to a trusted computer shop to get them to do that or see if they can bypass the password and reset it.
For the time being I'd suggest not turning it on and leaving it hooked up to the internet in case they installed remote control software on the computer and could gain control over it while it's inaccessible to your mother. She may have other important data there that could be exploited.
It would also be a good idea to change passwords to any online banking, financial, personal or email accounts as well.
January 11th, 2017, 12:21 PM
Thanks for the Reply. I considered putting the Hard Drive in as a slave either directly wired or as a USB.
Originally Posted by fink
I think we will just abandon the old computer, and go with my old computer which is jut taking up space at my house. I don't think she has to worry about Email, because she deletes that as soon as they come in. But, she will lose all her email addresses. Though perhaps she can get very one on Facebook to send her an email so she rebuild her collection.
Thanks for the Info. I wasn't holding out much hope.
January 11th, 2017, 01:28 PM
I'd still change passwords if there are any she used from that computer. If someone hijacks her email account then they could lock her out of that too and even use it to send spam.
January 11th, 2017, 10:36 PM
Perhaps I've been away a long time, but as XP's factory support ended a few years ago why is "she" still using it? This would be like me still using my (working) 98SE install ten years ago. Later OS algorithms pick up this kind of scamming and block it.
Fink's right. assume "her" financial and personal info has been compromised; take appropriate measures to safeguard them; and for God's sake, update "her" operating system to something with factory support.
January 16th, 2017, 03:17 PM
I'm thinking you should be able to grab her email address book somehow...
If she uses web mail (like Gmail or Hotmail) those are obviously going to be with the account.
If she used something like Outlook Express, you should be able to find the address book if you slave the drive to your system. Then all you have to do is convert it to something usable. It might take a little time but if she had many contacts, it might be worth it.
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