Did you see the following message–published yesterday? I’m so angry with myself for being so stupid!!
If you don’t hear from me for a while (no blog messages), it’s because both my computers were in the hands of a hacker. Long story (and I’m told this happens “all the time”): A message popped up on my computer (while doing Ancestry.com) saying my computer had been hacked and call the listed phone number. I called…, nice man, concerned, helpful… and he soon had complete access to my “genealogy computer.” During the conversation I commented about using two computers simultaneously for “climbing the family tree.” He said that computer would be vulnerable, too. So he wanted to check that one, too, and soon had complete access to that computer, too. “Victor” was so smooth expressing concern for my identity. He wanted me to check my Bank account for unusual activity. So I was advised to check my Bank account while under the umbrella of his security. I did… and all looked OK. (DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!) Then the “hard sell”: Buy “network security.” Victor took me to Google web sites of women scammed out of $8,000.00 and $22,000.00; he wanted me to purchase SonicWall3600. Those prices were shocking and I honestly told him I couldn’t make that decision on a moment’s notice. The “hard sell” persisted and I became suspicious that I had been gullible.
Yours truly was polite, expressed grief about my situation, and taking Victor’s time. Tearfully told him “goodbye” while he insisted I would not have access to my computers after he logged off.
After hanging up from Victor, I phoned my computer man and explained. He hears that story every day!! When he heard I checked my Bank account, Tim said “call your Bank immediately.” Thankfully, I got through to a real live person at the Bank and everything shut down on that account.
Too friendly? Too trusting? During the one-hour-forty-five minute experience, I told Victor so much about myself: My age, my birth date, etc. Imagine this: I was talking to my hacker; I was voluntarily providing details to the man who might “steal my identity.” Victor complimented me frequently: “You don’t sound like eighty-four years old. You sound like forty.” Also: “You are so tech savvy.” I enjoyed the affirmations and wrote them down so I could quote them later.
It’s a struggle to publish this message for two reasons: (1) Embarrassment at my stupidity, and (2) computer is acting weird. Almost impossible to prepare this, and previous, message. (Birthday message prepared several days ago, and “scheduled” for May 4th.) Looking at a draft of this message, “Why are some words appearing in blue and imply they are links?” Furthermore, I find the following message attached to my blog. Is it “real” or is it another way the hackers are trying to get us interacting with them??
We want to make you aware of a situation that has occurred which may be related to your personal information. Recently there have been several data breaches affecting Fiserv (a major provider of technology services to financial institutions) and Healthcare.gov (government healthcare provider). Files containing personal and financial information were reportedly compromised.
Names, Email Addresses, Credit Card Details, Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Addresses, Birth Dates and Bank Account Details were said to have been exposed in the attacks.
Due to the increased risk of identity theft, it is highly recommended that you to check your credit report as soon as possible for any activity you did not authorize.
According to the government, it can take up to 6 months and 200 hours of work to recover from identity theft.
- Get your credit-check and verify all your records.
- Compare data from your credit-check with all financial records. Report any unauthrozied activity immediately.
- Change your passwords on all websites you frequent