Consumer Protection Law

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I have been taken by a smooth talking man who said that he…

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I have been taken...

I have been taken by a smooth talking man who said that he was from windows division of Microsoft and I immediately suspected a fraud but I talked to the man for nearly an hour and during that time he managed to convince me that he was legitimate and because of that he sent me a sight that indicated that he was going to cleqan the malware and errors from my computer and went through the motions by giving me numbers to use to get into that service and to shorten the story, after trying to call the phone number he gave me, there was no answer at that number and I'm afraid that he will now have access to my computer and everything in it due to my stupidity or naivity and trust. How can this be taken care of and another thing the payment for the swervice went through 'PayPal' on the screen which means they may or may not be a part of this. Please help me get this guy!!!!

Lawyer's Assistant: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Yes, I am in Long Beach, CA 90805 and my name is ***** *****

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you contacted the manufacturer?

Mfgr of which thing? Computer ,PayPal or? It doewsn't matt3er since the answer is that I have not contacted anyone but you!!

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes. If this guy gets into my bank account, what would I be responsible for that he does or damages. I'm 71 years old and a disabled veteran on a limited income.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/8/2017
Consumer Protection Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,031
Experience: 18+ years of NYS litigation experience.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I'm sorry to hear that you fell for a very popular computer tech scam. Microsoft doesn't monitor its computers and unless you enlist their help, they have no idea what's going on in your computer. These unsolicited calls or random pop-ups that are supposedly from Microsoft are just a scammer's excuse to phish for personal information and to scam you out of your money.

If you google "computer tech scam" you'll see lots of fraud reports on companies who do this sort of thing. The names of the so-called tech companies change all of the time. But they are alike in that what these computer scammers do is take a perfectly healthy computer and charge you a fee for a so-called protection package that actually creates new problems for you. The scam is all about getting you to give them more and more money, for problems that they are creating with remote access, which will turn out not to be covered by the lifetime package you think you paid for.

Or, it could be even worse that that, as you fear:

if you also let them into your computer, they also can hack your computer and commit identity theft. They can plant malware that logs your keystrokes and gets your passwords and they can break into your financial accounts. Because you gave the thief access, your bank would bear no liability for your loss.

So you need to take precautions against identity theft ASAP by having a verified professional tech -- someone you actually know in the community, such as a tech person in your local computer shop -- debug it. Then you need to change all of your pin numbers and passwords.

If you think that your bank account and/or credit card accounts may be compromised, call your bank and card carriers IMMEDIATELY. Cancel the account and open a new one.

Block all further contact with the scammer. Don't allow him to try to further manipulate you. Report this as a crime to your police, online to the FBI at their Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov

Once you've had your computer and laptop debugged and you have a greater idea of what other precautions it might be wise to take, there are other things you can do to prevent identity theft:

You can open up a fraud alert so that if the scammer got personal identifying information from you, he can't use that information to open up credit cards and get loans in your name. You do that by contacting one of the three credit reporting agencies -- www. Equifax.com, www.Experian.com or www.TransUnion.com and asking for a fraud alert. Either agency you call will notify the other two.

A fraud alert is free for 90 days, and it means that if, during that time, anyone attempts to open up a credit card or take out a loan in your name, you will get a phone call before any such loan or credit line gets authorized. After 90 days, you can continue the service for a fee or go with a private company such as LifeLock.

A fraud alert will not affect your credit negatively. It is only to protect you, and it won't change the way you can use your credit cards or bank accounts. It just alerts new lenders not to approve new lines of credit without contacting you first.

As part of this process, you'll also get a free copy of your credit history from each of the 3 reporting agencies when you apply for the fraud alert, so that you can see if there are any accounts or loans you know nothing about that someone opened under your name.

You're going to want to monitor your accounts and your credit history now and again, just to be on the safe side.

There is something that's even stronger than a fraud alert, and that's a security freeze. The security freeze locks your credit history unless/until you want that restriction temporarily or permanently lifted. For that, you'd contact each of the credit reporting bureaus and ask for it. You can read more about a security freeze and the difference between that and a fraud alert on this link:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#what

The freeze may be much more than you need to do unless you feel that the scammer could have your social security number.

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Consumer Protection Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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