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CBC MARKETPLACE and scam warnings
November 18, 2023
6:31 pm
Bill
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Thanks all, appreciate the feedback. I'll try that Malwarebytes, AltaRed.

I did delete the program files right away, and I'd forgotten but I also took the computer right away to Best Buy, told their tech dept. what happened and they checked it out, did their scan thing and said all was fine. Otherwise I was ready to buy a new computer.

Thanks again.

November 18, 2023
7:23 pm
AltaRed
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No need to scan yourself if Geek Squad did it.

November 18, 2023
11:16 pm
Norman1
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That "Supremo (283 704 861)" icon described sounds like a system icon.

Check the list of system icons to see if that Supremo system icon is still configured somehow. The list is at

Settings ► Personalization ► Taskbar ► Turn system icons on or off

November 19, 2023
7:36 am
Bill
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I did get rid of the icon, used the link in your earlier post to figure out if I unchecked those two boxes it would disappear and it did. Thanks, Norman1.

November 19, 2023
8:05 am
RetirEd
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Thanks to everyone for their alternate scam scenarios and experiences!

savemoresaveoften: Right you are! Actual cable or computer tech support can be done with the tech guiding you on the phone what to do, instead of giving over control. It's a bit more work for them, but safer and educational for the client.

A compromised computer can be cleaned up, but it's easy to wipe without losing anything if all your data is on removable drives connected only when needed. ( Of course, instead of reinstalling Windows you can use Linux!)

Bill: If they're on the phone with you and it's your mobile, they already have your phone number.

Serindipity: Not answering the phone for unknown numbers leaves friends, relatives and merchants not calling from their own numbers - say, stranded on the road - high and dry! Not to mention Elections Canada and government and police agencies calling from PBX exchanges where there's no consistent number to display. I accept the very minor annoyance of having to swear at a recording as the affordable price of being reachable.

While it would be nice to be able to leave a message, most people with mobile phones have voicemail limited to 2 or 3 messages and are always full up.

ADVANCING SCAM TECH: I'm very aware of the "grandfather scam" that claims to need cash for bail, but I was shocked to get a call last week that had a PERFECT voice reproduction of someone I know well, and knew their name as well as mine. Possibly AI from contact with that person. The "don't tell anyone" was what twigged me. And I would never have given any money to anyone but a court officer at a police station or courthouse. Anyone calling from out-of-town would just be SOL, or wanting a wire transfer or cash handed to a "lawyer."

RetirEd

November 19, 2023
8:07 am
Norman1
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That's great to hear, Bill.

That was more than just an icon. Each of the system icons in the notification area at the bottom right will only show if there is something running to support the icon. So, there was something still installed and running!

According to SupRemo: Automatic safe access for unattended control, setting that "Start Supremo with Windows (unattended access)" option sets up something that makes it possible for someone "to gain access to the remote machine even if no user is in front of it" and logged in!

November 19, 2023
8:27 am
Alexandre
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Bill said
I also took the computer right away to Best Buy, told their tech dept. what happened and they checked it out, did their scan thing and said all was fine. Otherwise I was ready to buy a new computer.

How much did they charge you for this service?
One can find new mini-PC with decent specs on Amazon for under $250.

November 19, 2023
9:10 am
Bill
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RetireEd, it was our home landline. My mobile is used 100% for texts, nothing else, ringer permanently off.

Norman1, it's possible something was still running but there was no connection to outside from what I can tell. I never heard back from anyone trying again or anything else like that and all banking stuff seems fine all along, no red flags anywhere. Anyway it's gone now.

Alexandre, I can't remember how much they charged, it wasn't much at all but thanks.

November 19, 2023
9:48 am
AltaRed
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Geek Squad rates are not bad such as https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/services/geek-squad-computer-tablet-repair-services/blt97d980ef802e4d71 I think it works out to be something like $50/hr more or less. A malware sweep would be under $50 (or maybe $50 flat rate). Ex-spouse uses their services at least a few times per year.

November 19, 2023
12:57 pm
Alexandre
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savemoresaveoften said

You don’t need to replace it. Just wipe out what’s on it and reinstall windows.
Obviously u can’t back up what’s on it, not knowing what’s infected and to what extent. But reinstall windows will cleanse it 100%, no need to burn it lol  

If you want to, you could get NAS, configure regular image backup schedule of every computer at your household to it, with backups retention for up to a year (or more). In case of computer compromise or drive failure you can rollback computer to the state before the event, with relative ease and not losing much.

I have that at my household, but it is not for everyone. Just like it is not for everyone to perform proper drive formatting and Windows reinstall.

With cheap mini-PCs making them almost disposable item, the easiest recommendation to common folk would be to replace compromised computer.
Until the time comes when every kitchen maid can do Windows clean install over formatted drive.

PS. It may be just me, but I would rather literally burn my PC than pass it for troubleshooting to some people I don't know, who not only can get access to all my info from that PC but also could compromise it themselves. Even if these people are employed by reputable business, such as electronics retailer.

November 19, 2023
1:02 pm
savemoresaveoften
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RetirEd said
Serindipity: Not answering the phone for unknown numbers leaves friends, relatives and merchants not calling from their own numbers - say, stranded on the road - high and dry! Not to mention Elections Canada and government and police agencies calling from PBX exchanges where there's no consistent number to display. I accept the very minor annoyance of having to swear at a recording as the affordable price of being reachable.

Totally agree with what you said there. One time I forgot my phone at home and used my friend's phone to call my wife to check if my phone is there. Of course she did not answer cuz she said she does not recognize the phone number. I was speechless.

As for grandparent scam etc, I used to have safety word/passcode with my little one, for emergencies such as sending other people to pick her up from school etc. Never have to use the code but basically its a 2-factor verification. Same can be used for those grandkids that are prone to get into trouble and may need a bail out lol

November 19, 2023
4:07 pm
HermanH
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Alexandre said
PS. It may be just me, but I would rather literally burn my PC than pass it for troubleshooting to some people I don't know, who not only can get access to all my info from that PC but also could compromise it themselves. Even if these people are employed by reputable business, such as electronics retailer.  

I think that MarketPlace also did a recent episode showing how service techs at even reputable chains were snooping in customer PCs.

November 19, 2023
4:10 pm
HermanH
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savemoresaveoften said
Totally agree with what you said there. One time I forgot my phone at home and used my friend's phone to call my wife to check if my phone is there. Of course she did not answer cuz she said she does not recognize the phone number. I was speechless.

Same thing has happened to me. However, we have a backup plan. If the other number calls back 2-3 times in quick succession, you can be pretty sure that it is someone who really wants to talk to you. I have never seen a RoboCaller do it.

November 19, 2023
6:30 pm
Dean
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HermanH said

I think that MarketPlace also did a recent episode showing how service techs at even reputable chains were snooping in customer PCs.  

    Yup ⬆

Yet another reason why anything of any consequence,
should be stored 'Elsewhere'.

My favorite 'Elsewhere' is encrypted memory sticks.

Better be Safe, than Sorry ❗

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long, Healthy ... And Prosper! " sf-cool

November 19, 2023
11:12 pm
Norman1
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Bill said

Norman1, it's possible something was still running but there was no connection to outside from what I can tell. I never heard back from anyone trying again or anything else like that and all banking stuff seems fine all along, no red flags anywhere. Anyway it's gone now.

Yes, something could be running and there is no connection currently taking advantage of it.

What the running remote desktop software does is accept connections and directions from someone outside to do things on the computer as if the person was in front of the computer. It is not good to have such a backdoor on one's computer for someone untrusted.

November 20, 2023
7:52 am
Alexandre
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HermanH said
If the other number calls back 2-3 times in quick succession, you can be pretty sure that it is someone who really wants to talk to you. I have never seen a RoboCaller do it.  

I had. I found it quite annoying and thought "what a stupid idea, why would I pickup the phone second time or third time if I didn't do it first time?" Apparently, there is a logic behind that madness.

I have what I call "5 seconds rule" to filter robocalls. When I am unsure and caller number seems legit, I pickup the phone and stay silent for up to 5 seconds. Usually if it is a robocall they hang up in under 5 seconds when not hearing any voice, if it were a real person they will say "hello" to me or something. I have about 95% success rate with that approach.

November 20, 2023
8:16 am
HermanH
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Alexandre said
I have what I call "5 seconds rule" to filter robocalls. When I am unsure and caller number seems legit, I pickup the phone and stay silent for up to 5 seconds. Usually if it is a robocall they hang up in under 5 seconds when not hearing any voice, if it were a real person they will say "hello" to me or something. I have about 95% success rate with that approach.  

I have tried that delayed approach, too. It can work, but it only served to annoy family who said, "Don't you say 'hello' any more?

November 20, 2023
8:51 am
savemoresaveoften
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Alexandre said

I had. I found it quite annoying and thought "what a stupid idea, why would I pickup the phone second time or third time if I didn't do it first time?" Apparently, there is a logic behind that madness.

I have what I call "5 seconds rule" to filter robocalls. When I am unsure and caller number seems legit, I pickup the phone and stay silent for up to 5 seconds. Usually if it is a robocall they hang up in under 5 seconds when not hearing any voice, if it were a real person they will say "hello" to me or something. I have about 95% success rate with that approach.  

Unfortunately duct cleaning companies employ real person to bug you….

November 20, 2023
10:35 am
HermanH
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savemoresaveoften said
Unfortunately duct cleaning companies employ real person to bug you….  

That might be better, because a real person won't likely re-try multiple times, once the first attempt is not answered. They just move onto the next prospective victim.

November 20, 2023
10:43 am
althisa
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HermanH said
That might be better, because a real person won't likely re-try multiple times, once the first attempt is not answered. They just move onto the next prospective victim.  

The ratio of unsolicited sales calls I get from Duct Cleaning companies is much higher than any other business, services, or charities. It must be a real high margin business to employ live sales people, or a loss leader for other home services.

I have sometimes thought they are phishing for information, including your voice print if they can engage you in a conversation.

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