I Was An Accident Waiting to Happen: Case History of a Computer Scam Job

By JOHN KAMINSKI

I had already given a good friend of mine a solution to this very problem weeks ago when she asked me about what to do when a professional looking message instantly freezes up your computer and demands you call this 800 number if you ever want to see your data again. The most dangerous and also most common reaction to this unexpected surprise is panic. Do not forfeit your mental acuity by losing your composure. STAY CALM!

The simple answer is . . . turn off your computer by any means necessary. Walk away for a half hour or so. And when you return, the problem will be gone.

But when this surprise was sprung on me, well, my sudden brain cramp will long be debated, at least by me. Too many things on my mind is the usual excuse. Uncertain at what one is actually doing is the backup excuse.

Unfortunately neither rationale kept me from losing $500 to two fellows who had me absolutely convinced they were Apple computer technicians, but weren’t.

Sudden shock

I felt like a frog sitting on a lily pad watching the storm approach, ready to spring and swim for my life. My computer screen had gone blank and suddenly this white screen appeared with its ominous message in black letters:

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER. YOU HAVE A VIRUS. TO FIX IT CALL THE NUMBER ON YOUR SCREEN.


There definitely were too many things on my mind: letters I have to answer, bills I have to pay, story fragments that need to be cleaned, news ideas that I need to research, trash that needs to be taken out, dishes that need to be done, and most of all, story ideas I need to hang onto before they disappear into the vapor.

At the time it was happening I didn’t know whether or not I had lost everything on my computer, so I sent out a message to two regular receivers of my emails thinking I’d be cyber silent for some time. After a nervous night trying not to think about how I’d lost everything I’d written for the last ten years, a trip to the Apple store the next day quickly dissolved my fears.

The techs were terrific and surmised these scammers were only interested in cash, which they got from me in the form of irretrievable I-tunes gift cards (because they had cleverly explained I couldn’t use my debit card because my computer was compromised, which it wasn’t).

These scammers were terrific. They were Indians. And I was thinking at the time they were trying to convince me they were Apple techs how efficient and competent they were. They wouldn’t have installed malware, the real Apple tech told me the next day, in case they got caught and had to defend themselves as legitimate computer guys. Anyway, my beloved computer was clean when checked at the Apple store at the new Sarasota mall.

But this is all about my own stupidity.

I knew how to deal with this situation initially. I had pulled up a ten year old copy of a story I had written in 2009, The Beautiful Iranians, about the Behistun inscription, and was going to recycle it as “Beware the people of the lie”. The original had several links in it. When I checked the first one, it was of course dead, so I put “link dead” in parentheses and moved on to the next one.

When I clicked it, all hell broke loose.

Long ago I read a story that this mainly happens when opening porn sites.

A professional looking message locks up your computer, saying to call a certain 800 number to remedy the situation. The proper course of action in these circumstances is NOT TO PANIC, but to shut down your computer by any means possible and walk away for a half hour. And when you reopen, the whole mess will have disappeared and everything will be fine.

With so many other things on my mind at the time, and utterly forgetting what i had already learned, I panicked.

First I shut down the computer (unplugging is probably the best way) but impatience took over and I didn’t wait more than a few minutes. I had warned my friend about this, as I mentioned above, only a few weeks earlier. This had enabled her to avoid this identical problem recently.

But when I reopened, the warning was still there. The computer was !still locked. And my brain said, “This must be real!” So I  called the 800 number! Eventually I was switched to “an Apple tech”. These two Indian scammers, they were utterly convincing. They took over my computer. Learned all my passwords. They explained I had a virus relating to Adobe Acrobat (which I had incurred once before!). As I said, the explanation given to me by these guys was  so utterly convincing that I was taken in at once. After all, I’m just a computer amateur.

Then they explained my Apple insurance had expired and I had to reenlist or they couldn’t perform the necessary repairs. In a thoroughly panicked state, I failed to remember there is no such thing as Apple insurance. Lifetime free service comes with the purchase price.

Then they cleverly explained I couldn’t use my debit card because my computer was compromised and suggested using I Tunes cards, which they read by camera over the Internet —  $500 worth.

So I waited for them to call back another two hours, growing more apprehensive by the minute.

When they finally did, they said they had tried valiantly but some of the “drivers” in my computer had been permanently damaged and I had to spend another $400 to buy new ones!  My head was spinning by this time. I was wondering what had hit me. My bank account was about to be totally drained. I do live in a low income housing project, after all.

But at that very moment, in the nick of time, I was rescued! By my friend and benefactor—let’s call him Ralph. This is the the guy who had bought me this Mac book as well as my I-phone. He had fixed my dilapidated car for me many years ago. He had helped me construct my website and been an all-around best friend to me. Currently, however, he was busy  building a house near his grandchildren in another state. When he finally got in touch, and I told him what was happening to me, he bellowed: “Hang up immediately!”

And then of course I remembered what I had known all along: that I should never  have engaged with these scammers in the first place. Any dialogue with these con artists is deadly. You need to cut them off AT ONCE!

I could make this story a lot longer, but I’ve had enough of it.

I’m working on other stories. I couldn’t find my 2009 story The Beautiful Iranians on the web anywhere. And when I examined my copy of it, I noticed that each paragraph had been slowly eaten away from the end toward the beginning, so I trashed it and it’s now gone.

I’m working on a similar story at the moment.

In other news, my old website, johnkaminski.info, has disappeared into the ether, taking hundreds of stories with it, probably because I never really knew who actually owned it or paid the rent on it. This was because it was done for free for five years by a fellow from Ireland, a person I haven’t heard from in more than five years. For all I know, he may be dead, but I hope not.

I think I have copies of many of those stories on my computer, which hung on the cusp of oblivion for about 24 hours. So I will spend the rest of the day perusing more pleasant matters. A walk on the beach seems in order.

And I will remember, forever, that the proper course of action for any untoward intrusion on your computer screen is to turn it off by any means possible—and WAIT WAIT WAIT a suitable amount of time, a minimum half an hour—before returning to cyberspace. Because by then the scammer will have gotten bored and scooted off in search of other victims.

30 thoughts to “I Was An Accident Waiting to Happen: Case History of a Computer Scam Job”

  1. With that kind of problems it is best to deal as follows –

    1 Be prepared
    Download a portable Linux OS (it is free) and make a bootable CD

    2 When or if computer is infected put that CD in it and shut it down by holding the power button

    3 Restart the computer and the Linux OS will load from the CD

    4 Transfer the files from the internal HD to an external one

    5 Re-install the OS

    And remember that it is a bad idea to keep all the data on the same HD as the one the OS is installed on, so either get a second internal HD or use an external one for storing it

    1. Why hanging on to Windows in the first place? Windows 10 is the perfect ANTI HUMAN OS and a reason to scrap Microsoft “Spy ware” altogether and as quickly as possible.

      1. For those who need to use some third-party software, Linux is not an option. But for the most people there is no need to use Windows or Mac OS. People just don’t know that.

  2. Pull the plug is a good way to start fixing any computer. Whenever you are being attacked by an online virus the first thing to do is remove yourself from the internet, if using a home computer with a modem or cable just unplugged the goddamn thing. That stops all data transfer. If using wifi disable or go offline.

    CNTRL + ALT + DELETE and open task manager and shut down whatever process is running the CPU at 100%, turn it off.

    Usually you can save the day by closing your browser then clean the ram and all those stored trackers and files. I like Ccleaner. I run it everyday at the end of the day, I don’t want my computer remembering anything. Free download, works great.

    “CCleaner, developed by Piriform is a utility used to clean potentially unwanted files and invalid Windows Registry entries from a computer.”

    When you reopen your browser DO NOT VISIT THE LAST SITE that caused the problem. I usually run into this when doing torrent downloads like from Piratebay or 1337x. In case you don’t know, if you got a Windows machine you can download almost any book or movie for free. It may be illegal if copywrited. Old movies are usually ok. There is a lot of free information to be had if you are savy. Do not break the law because Mr. Jew Judge is watching.

    Torrent files are the way to go to get around banned Youtube videos. Anyone who is skilled can make a youtube video then put it up as a torrent and Goolag will not be able to censor it. I am surprised so many patriots haven’t caught on to this. Click on this 1337x to see what I mean:

    https://1337x.to/search/zionist+conspiracy/1/

    https://1337x.to/search/eustace+mullins/1/

    It would be wonderful if all of John Kaminski’s essays were put up on one torrent file. Just post a link on this and other websites like Mamishit.

    What we sure could use in this movement are an army of tech savy kids making banned information available. No one, especially the god damned Jews, have any right to censor our free speech.

    1. When you delete a file – Windows doesn’t actually delete it.

      It stays on your hard drive.

      https://www.pcworld.com/article/209418/how_do_i_permanently_delete_files_from_my_hard_disk.html

      Did you know that when you “delete” files from your computer, they can still remain on your hard disk? In many cases, deleted files can be recovered with little effort because most computer operating systems will only delete links to the data so they no longer appear to you, but the actual data remains on the disk. Getting access to the deleted data is as simple as restoring the links.

      I use File Shredder to completely erase all the data on my hard drive.

      There are other tools.

      1. Windows was created for a reason to collect ALL user data automatically and store it in a “safe” place even after deletion it still can be called upon. To make a hard drive safe in regards to protect sensible user data – is physical destruction. ALL Computer software comes with back doors and patches and none will ever be safe. Though windows is an open window with an invitation.

  3. If you have Windows change to LINUX, then you will never be bothered by viruses or scammers. I used to have viruses and scammers all the time with Windows. With LINUX no more. Changing to LINUX costs €45 in a computershop in my country.

    1. Changing to Linux is FREE apart from the data used for download.
      Download a live version of any LINUX OS on a 4GB USB and test run your way to Linux safely beside any Windows OS on your current computer until one feels comfortable to switch for good.
      It is easy. Not as easy though as kicking a (dirty Microsoft) habit.

  4. blockquote>If you can get online (WWW) the first thing to do is download and run “Malwarebytes.”
    It’s free and it works really well.

    If not but you can boot into Windows or whatever system you’re running, go to your “system restore” to restore everything to a previous set point when all was normal. Whether it’s a day, a week, a month in the past.
    All your data and settings should be there, waiting.

    1. @ Hp

      If not but you can boot into Windows or whatever system you’re running, go to your “system restore” to restore everything to a previous set point when all was normal. Whether it’s a day, a week, a month in the past.

      Can you explain how to do this, step-by-step? I don’t even know how to go to “system restore”! What does one click on? I’m a total beginner and haven’t got a clue where to start.

      1. Saki,
        The first thing to do if you can connect to the WWW is to Google and download the free virus removal tool “Malwarebytes.” Run it and it will likely find any virus and quarantine / remove it. An excellent virus, Adware, etc. removal tool.
        Then restart your computer and it should be ok.

        If you cannot connect to the WWW but can get your computer to boot up to Wndows (Windows 7 in my case) the first thing to do is click the Windows symbol at the bottom left, then at the very bottom where it says “search programs and files” type in “system restore” and click. Choose a time to restore to, whether the day before, the week before, etc. and click it to run. After the system is restored, which will take (depending on the speed of your CPU) anywhere from a few minutes to maybe twenty minutes, you will then be prompted to restart your computer.
        It should then boot up to the earlier time you chose, when all was well and running normally.

        Also, if when trying to boot up the computer it won’t boot into Windows at all, you can try pressing F8 as it tries to start and a screen will come up with different ways to boot into Windows. Choose to start the computer in “Safe Mode” and then try to run System Restore the same way as described above.

        If you can’t get it to boot to Windows in Safe Mode and have no way to boot to Windows externally (boot disk, thumb drive, etc.) then you have a real problem.
        Hope this is of some help. It sounds complicated but once you get going it’s easier than it sounds.

      2. Saki, “the first thing to do is click the Windows symbol at the bottom left, then at the very bottom where it says “search programs and files” type in “system restore” and click”

        I should have said, in lieu of click, press “Enter.” System Restore should then pop right up.

  5. Speaking of accidents, maybe Lasha’s sister, Lucy, was in some kind of car or plane accident and died in the accident, because we haven’t heard from Lucy in a very long time. It must have been a horrible horrific accident, lol. The funny thing is : Lucy disappears and everyone acts as if there was never any Lucy, LOL. How quickly they forget their own sister, lol. Or, maybe sister Lucy drowned in the cold dark murky sea. Maybe her ship hit a coral reef and sunk to the bottom and Lucy is, lol, dead at the bottom of the sea. She had quite a few what one could say “bitchy attributes” so maybe her Karma caught up with her and in the end she got, lol, what she deserved. I don’t miss her or anything, I’m just wondering why everyone pretends she never existed. Is it because Lasha’s sister Lucy was a b*tch that’s why no body misses her , not even Lasha, and everyone pretends she never existed, LMFAO!!!

    1. @ The Realist

      We’re on the VERGE of WW3 and THIS TRIPE is the best Darkmoon can present us with????

      So what happens when WW3 breaks out, hmm?
      No one smiles any more? No one takes a walk in the park
      or feeds the pigeons? All dogs stop wagging their tails?

      1. re No one smiles any more?
        No doubt you would have been reciting the Glorious Mysteries – with your head alight and an angelic smile on your mug – during the Hellstorm of Dresden?

      2. You take yourself too seriously, sir. Chill out. And learn some good manners before you get booted off this website for your insolence. We don’t ask you to post here or invite your crapulous opinions. If you don’t like this website, begone! — back to the gloomy rat hole in which you belong!

      3. Well said, sis! Give the humorless b*stard a good thrashing.
        People like this need pushing off a cliff.

  6. NO WW3 – This is happening right NOW!!

    Hong Kong protesters wave American flag, sing national anthem!! 🙂

    The Chinese media have accused the United States of supporting the riots in Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong seem to be heading to a ‘Tianenmen-like’ situation with thousands of protesters thronging the streets. Chinese media had already warned of potential terrorism rising in the country and even accused the US of supporting the riots. A video posted on twitter shows pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong waving the American flag adding to the fury of the Beijing-backed government.

    https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2019/08/13/hong-kong-protesters-wave-american-flag-sing-national-anthem.html

    1. The globe is beginning to kindle front left and centre. What the “Russians” do to the British or American empire “America” is doing to China now. Same story, just in a different national dish – as a prelude. Watch out for when Australia becomes Chinese Territory and truth has conquered US.

  7. @ “Sister” Monica / “Madame” Buttercup

    “Ladies”, please be advised that I wear your schoolgirl tantrums like a Badge Of Honor
    After all, with all the screeching & caterwauling, I must be over the target ;)))

    1. Don’t kid yourself. Your comments are worthless. You’re just another attention-seeking troll and these two ladies are telling you that you are not welcome on this intelligent website. You have yet to make a single sensible on-topic comment. Every comment you have made so far has been an ad hominem attack on your intellectual superiors. So do us all a favor and piss off.

Comments are closed.