Windows Secrets readers — prompted by recent articles about Internet scams, Windows updates, and slow-moving computers — offer stories and suggestions of their own.
Regarding scams with proper skepticism
Re: Woody Leonhard’s Mar. 22 story, “New ‘419’ scam involves PayPal and Western Union”
I received three similar e-mails in response to a rental ad. All three responses to thead were the same: a single sentence asking whether the rental were still available. I replied “yes” to each, and in return got an e-mail from someone in the U.K. who claimed he was coming here to go to school. The story was filled with way too many holes and inconsistencies to be believed.
I checked two things: the source of the e-mail (IP was in Ghana) and the name in the e-mail, which I searched. That brought up lots of negative hits. I replied to each e-mail that I accepted cash only for the first month’s rent; I never heard back from any of them. —Richard Notari
A friend of mine got a call from “Microsoft,” claiming that my friend’s computer had a large number of viruses and that they would fix it for her. She fell for this scam and gave the caller control of her computer. The caller then said that the computer was unusable and that they could fix it for $180. She balked at this and terminated the call. But they had really messed up the computer, and it would not work. I’m not sure how they did it, but a total reinstall was required. A general warning and suggestions for anti-malware/antivirus that could prevent this from happening to other people would be useful. —Arold Green