Dear computer lady,
Thank you so very much for all the helpful info throughout the years. You are very much appreciated. I am in my 70s and not very computer savvy.
Recently I had a popup on my computer repeating my computer was infected with a virus, and for me not to close my computer as that could damage it. It instructed me to call a phone number. The voice kept repeating that someone was hacking my computer attempting to get my bank account password and my credit card information. I panicked an called the phone number.
A man with a heavy Indian accent answered. He asked my name and zip code. I gave this to him, and he was then able to give me my address. He asked a few more questions and then told me that hackers in Houston, Texas and Beijing, China had attempted to hack my computer several times. He said he would try to help me clear the problem.
He asked that I press the windows logo and the letter R at the same time, then asked what was shown on my screen. He then told me to press
the windows logo and the letter D and again asked what was shown on my screen. He then told me that he was not able to help me, but he was transferring me to a professional who would be able to help me. I asked if there was a charge for this, and he said there would probably be a small charge. I told him, no that I would see what I could do. Before I could close down,there were some letters and numbers that quickly appeared on my screen.
I have mcAfee and Malwarebyte. I ran both scans. Can you please tell me what happened when I pressed the windows logo and the letter R and the windows logo and the letter D? Am I at risk? Did I give this person remote control to my computer?
Thank you for your help.
First, I want to thank you for this detailed description of what is becoming a common scam. Usually the scammer takes control of your computer, proceeds to “fix” problems that are not really there, then charge you hundreds of dollars. Sometimes they even lock you out of your computer until you pay up.
If I had your name and zip code, I could find your address on any number of websites like 411.com, whitepages.com, and anywho.com just to name a few.
When you pressed the windows logo key and the letter R, it opened the “Run” dialog box. It allows you to run any program on your computer just by typing in a command. Depending on what the scammer had you type in that dialog box he might have been able to take control of your computer. I just don’t have enough information to know for sure.
When you press the windows logo key and the letter D, that just minimizes all your windows and shows you the desktop. That is probably how he got the pop-up to go away.
In the future, if you get this kind of pop-up, just hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then press the F4 key in the very top row a few times. The pop-up will close and if you press F4 enough times, your computer will restart. That usually fixes the problem. NEVER CALL THE NUMBER, IT IS ALWAYS A SCAM!
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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