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  1. #1
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    Tech-support scams take a disturbing turn


    Field Notes

    Tech-support scams take a disturbing turn


    By Tracey Capen

    Despite minor changes by Microsoft, the reports of unwanted Windows 10 upgrades are not going away.

    And, Dell PC users are being hit with a tech-support scam that's surprisingly convincing.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/tech-support-scams-take-a-disturbing-turn/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2016-05-23 at 19:51.

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    Just thought I'd chime in as a long time Windows Secrets subscriber and very satisfied Nomorobo user. I've been using Nomorobo for a little over a year and it works extremely well. I don't know their *current* source of revenue (in 2012, they won the FTC Robocall Challenge to "create solutions that will block illegal robocalls," with $50,000 in prize money), but it is easy quick and easy to set up and I have not seen any downside to the service (i.e. no increase in Spam, etc).

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    Nomorobo Source of Revenue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob53 View Post
    Just thought I'd chime in as a long time Windows Secrets subscriber and very satisfied Nomorobo user. I've been using Nomorobo for a little over a year and it works extremely well. I don't know their *current* source of revenue (in 2012, they won the FTC Robocall Challenge to "create solutions that will block illegal robocalls," with $50,000 in prize money), but it is easy quick and easy to set up and I have not seen any downside to the service (i.e. no increase in Spam, etc).
    I am also a very satisfied Nomorobo user. It blocks at least 1/2 dozen calls a day. The author of this column expresses some concern that there may be a catch because he doesn't understand Nomorobo's source of revenue. For those who may have the same concern, Nomorobo makes money by charging commercial (business) users of the service. It provides the service free to households. Note that the service will only work with voice over internet protocol phones (VOIP; such as Comcast, Verizon FIOS, etc.); not with traditional wire line phones.

  5. #4
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    Love it when robo calls come in. Just answer and wait for the human at the other end to come on the line. Tell them you're glad they called. Tell'em the wife just died and you're not sure you can go on. Ask them if they have any suggestions for how to cope with your loss. Ask them the best way to dispose of the late wife's personal items. Ask them if they've lost anyone near and dear to them and how did they handle it. Go ahead, make their day ....

  6. #5
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    I have had some attempts to install Adobe Flash Player and my antivirus thwarted the attempt. I Googled Adobe Flash Player and it appears there is a scam. Anyone know about this?

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    Also report these calls to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant https://apps.irs.gov/app/scripts/exi...anel1-1” on FTC.gov. If you don't have caller ID, tell the scammer you have an emergency right now and have to call him/her right back; report the number you're given. Nomorobo is fine for personal screening, but we need a communitywide response to really squelch this.

  8. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCLearner View Post
    I have had some attempts to install Adobe Flash Player and my antivirus thwarted the attempt. I Googled Adobe Flash Player and it appears there is a scam. Anyone know about this?
    'a' scam? Flash has been a magnet for malware for years, as have many of Adobe's products - if you use it, keep it updated.


    Recently patched Flash Player exploit is being used in widespread attacks


    Recent Adobe Security Updates (the top post contains safe links and the Flash uninstaller, instructions, etc.).

  9. #8
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    A few months ago I received these calls several times. In that case what surprised me is that they knew my name and that I owned a Dell. I didn't keep them on the line to get further than that. I know that I don't have a malware issue so I assume that either Dell or a third party associated with them was hacked.

  10. #9
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    This is not related to a phone call. It was an effort to install Adobe Flash Player on my PC although I already have it installed. Now I would like to know how to update it without inviting a Scam.

  11. #10
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    Just wanted to note that this tech support scam is not limited to Dell owners.

    I purchased an HP AIO computer last fall. This month I got a call on my home phone line from "HP tech support". The caller (with a strong accent) told me that my HP updates were not getting through to my computer. He told me to go to my computer so he could give me instructions on how to "correct the problem." I immediately smelled a rat and told him I didn't have time to do it right now but I would call back to HP Support and get help for the "problem" when I had time. He promptly hung up. I suspect this was an attempt to do a remote takeover of my computer or to direct me to a malware site.

    The fact that the caller knew my name, my phone number, and that I had an HP computer (my first ever) was disturbing. And I can see less experienced users falling for this, especially due to the amount of my personal info that the caller seemed to have.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCLearner View Post
    This is not related to a phone call. It was an effort to install Adobe Flash Player on my PC although I already have it installed. Now I would like to know how to update it without inviting a Scam.
    Read the top post from the second link in #7.

    It would be better if you did a full Flash uninstall first (uninstaller link is in that post), reboot and then download and install the correct version linked directly from that same post.

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  14. #12
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    NOMOROBO is great! BUT, (there's always a 'but'), your phone provider needs to support it. In my case, I'm sol, as I have Charter. In addition, AT&T wireless does not support it either. When I had AT&T for my landline, the bogus calls would ring twice and 'disapppear'!

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    Quote Originally Posted by herrgazz View Post
    NOMOROBO is great! BUT, (there's always a 'but'), your phone provider needs to support it. In my case, I'm sol, as I have Charter. In addition, AT&T wireless does not support it either. When I had AT&T for my landline, the bogus calls would ring twice and 'disapppear'!
    You are correct that Nomorrobo does not work with wireless carriers, although I understand they are working to support wireless.

  16. #14
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    On Win10 upgrade, a friend asked me about it when I was visiting. When opened, their laptop immediately popped up a window as illustrated saying the upgrade would take place shortly. She was running Win8.1. We discussed it and I began the upgrade. However, it took vastly longer than on other systems. Although it had already downloaded the update, it did so again, it also installed some other updates (slowly) even though the computer was clearly on automatic, and so on. Otherwise, it went smoothly - just slow.

    I had gone through prior Win Secrets and compiled a list of settings to change after install, like with Cortana, Settings, and System Protection.

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    I was in no rush to upgrade to Win10 (from 8.1). But as it's become apparent that the free period is likely to end and I didn't want to do it during a last minute rush, I scheduled the time to upgrade my 2 systems.

    Basically, I worked while it downloaded, then had lunch while it upgraded. Most of the settings and appearance where retained, although it has re-asked for some of the default programs. I then went through all the Settings, adjusted Cortana, and turned on System Protection.

    My only decision now is if I keep the new Start menu or go back to Classic Shell.

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