Last week, I had an up close and personal experience with a  cyber-criminal ! I was home alone, reading Face Book posts. I clicked on a picture to open the link and read the text, when all sorts of messages popped on my screen.  I tried to X them  out but was unable to do so. Then as I began to panic, I started reading the messages.  DO NOT POWER DOWN as you will destroy your HARD DRIVE  and/ or FILES.  More messages popped in when  I noticed a phone number to reach a CERTIFIED MICROSOFT  TECHNICIAN.  I have to say I was suspicious but also very  near panic for a “lifeline!” I fit the victim profile perfectly.

First I heard the robo message about “message being recorded for quality control”.  This   obviously was to  further draw the  computer owner into the web.  Next, a very polite and extremely proficient English speaking  foreigner came on the line. He was reassuring and said he would help me save my computer.   He asked for my first name, and that was the only information I gave  him.  He said that he would check the computer and LET ME KNOW THE COST!   My ears perked up.  I said I thought I should wait and talk to my husband and thanked him for trying to help me as I turned the computer off.  Within a few minutes I received two calls with  UNKNOWN CALLER that verified my decision. I declined them both!

When David came home he looked at the messages and said two things:                                    1.  Don’t DO FACEBOOK                                                                                                                        2.  Contact Andrew, my computer friend who is away in college.

Good old Andrew responded quickly and got access to my computer.  He checked everything pronouncing it safe.  He reassured me that with only my first name, my information was safe.  I was sure I had given him nothing else!

Within a few days the CBS affiliate in Albany did a segment on MICROSOFT TECHNICIAN SCAM in the area. Aha, I knew that!

I am writing this to  warn people who don’t have the help I had.  Andrew told me if this happens again to POWER DOWN THE COMPUTER by holding down the POWER BUTTON  even if it says it will harm the hard drive.

His parting words were, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!”  

It is very scary for someone who is very gullible and believes  that people are truth tellers!  I seem to have to learn and relearn that truth!  My experience with the computer is also pretty limited.   Just remember that it is imperative  never give out personal  information on  the Internet and to POWER DOWN if something seems suspicious or uncomfortable. Always be prepared to be surprised.

If other readers, much more experienced than I,  would like to “SHARE” cyber safety tips, please do !   And if possible . . . . find an Andrew~

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Cybercriminals

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your experience and the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Just a reminder, just in case it happens to YOU…


  3. amreade says:

    Reblogged this on Reade and Write and commented:
    This is a scary reminder that we can all use- be aware and alert when you use social media.


  4. Thanks for the warning! I’ll share your post! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ShaunyNews says:

    When David came home he looked at the messages and said two things:
    1. Don’t DO FACEBOOK
    2. Contact Andrew, my computer friend who is away in college.

    ^^ Very wise thing for David to do Anne…

    When we are online we are exposed in many ways. Emotionally, physically and in other ways. But by deciding to have opinions, strong opinions WE ARE going to meet bad people and people who want to hurt us…
    …BUT! This is where David has a point Anne…”Don’t do Facebook”
    Because it’s the only way you will stop taking your emotionally, physically real or online persona to a bad place. I know a few of these people and I point to them so others can deal with them…
    Question, I am a PC Tech. Why didn’t you tell me?

    Hope you are ok..



    Liked by 1 person

    • annetbell says:

      I am fine, thanks. I remembered that you are a very knowledgable PC Tech. You have helped me before and I appreciate it. The time difference and schedule difference complicate communication. Thanks Shaun!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ShaunyNews says:

    Reblogged too..


  7. Thanks so much, Annet, for this helpful information. I appreciate it. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This exact situation happened to me last June! I wish I’d know to shut down my laptop. I had a loud voice warning me about the same things you wrote about so I phoned the number because it said ‘certified Microsoft technician’ etc., but couldn’t hear because of the amped talking voice. A narrow escape for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Chris White says:

    I certainly consider it to be a form of assault. The cybecriminals are getting way too smart and powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • annetbell says:

      So true, Chris! I keep thinking that if they worked as hard in a positive way, that the world would be so much better. I guess there is and has been evil in the world. It was a scary experience and I did feel violated! Thanks for stopping by!


    • ShaunyNews says:

      It is that Chris mate.


  10. Sue Coletta says:

    The “blue wall of death” is another frightening experience. When it happened to me I immediately shut down and took out the battery. Waited a few minutes and powered up. It was gone. But for those few minutes I wasn’t sure if I fried my computer, or what. Glad it all worked out for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. macjam47 says:

    I had a similar instance. Thankfully, I powered down immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ShaunyNews says:

    As said, to stop them. 2 things, turn PC off. Safer still, just turn off podem, less harmful to your device.


  13. ShaunyNews says:



  14. Thanks to Amy Reade, I have found your blog here AND been forewarned. My husband is so nervous about me being on Facebook. Says that after I’m on FB, the computer is jumbled with lots of ‘junk’ that thankfully our virus-finding-software kills off. You’re kind to share your experience with us all. Nice blog, by the way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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