My PC was hijacked with a move to extort $ to get a password

June 1, 2012 at 14:27:24
Specs: Windows XP
I was snookered by an eastern accented man claiming to be from microsoft. He had info about errors I reported and said he would walk me through the fix then dropped a demand for money to protect my computer from software failure due to warranty expiration. I could buy 2, 3, or a lifetime policy for 1, 2, and $300+ dollars. I was given a number to call if I needed them & I declined to give them money. Upon starting my computer the next day I discovered that as oppossed to fixing my alledged errors they had put a password on my PC. I can't use my PC unless I buy the protection at which time I was assured the 6 digit # will be given to me. When I went to the bios screen I saw the name American Megatrends which I've never seen before. This smacks of extortion to me, is it criminal and can someone help me bypass it? I don't think giving these creeps money is the right move. I'm not sure of the info below but could probably find it with help. Right now I am on my lap top which they claimed to have gotten too but thankfully they did not. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Joe

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#1
June 1, 2012 at 15:46:32
That's really an off-the-wall story. Maybe it's just me but you sound like someone trying to bypass a legitimate password.

Well maybe I'm wrong. What happens if you call the number he gave you? What number shows on your caller ID for his original call? Google those numbers and see if anyone else has posted similar problems.

If the phone lines were used for fraud you should call your phone company and see if they can do anything.


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#2
June 1, 2012 at 17:45:26
This is most definately a scam. I leave a message & I get a call back to buy their protection. I never had a password on my home PC the whole family uses it or at least they did before I trusted this guy that wound up controlling my mouse & somehow put a password on it so I can't get in unless I play ball or PAY ball. It's really embarassing, I'm smarted than that, but the guy knew stuff about errors I've reported. Now that I think about it he probably just named errors that are common to XP and I stepped in to it. I just did a restart to try safe mode I get the same thing, a box asking for windows XP Startup password. All I can do to deviate is to hit delete to go in to the bios? If you would like to speak with me my # is xxx-xxx-xxxx Thanks for the speedy reply, Sincerely, Joe

edited by moderator: Removed phone number


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#3
June 1, 2012 at 18:18:56
Edit out your phone number and never put your phone number or email address on the internet. Both are unsafe practices.

Nobody here gives free help on either - we work on the forum.

Seems to me that the best bet is to use the restore CD (if any) or reformat and re-install XP.

You should be a lot more guarded about scams. Do you really believe that MS sit around phoning every MS computer user in the world?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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Related Solutions

#4
June 1, 2012 at 18:22:15
Don't post your phone number. Click the Edit button and remove it.

Can you log in as administrator? Or another user who may not have a password (or has one but knows what it is)?


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#5
June 1, 2012 at 18:57:30
Contact law enforcement. It is a crime. If in the US contact FBI.

At this point you may be better off with a reload of the OS from OEM media. You have no reasonable expectation of getting it free of malware.


Never fun to be a victim.

Hang up and live.


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#6
June 2, 2012 at 07:52:52

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#7
June 7, 2012 at 11:11:04
Greetings, Thank you for getting back to me. I have not been well & was unable to follow the postings until now. I will make every attempt to follow your advise & be more careful in the future. I never expected to hear from MS about errors I report but I was taken off guard by what seemed to be specific knowledge of errors I have reported. The "Rep." that called started out claiming to be a MS employee then shifted to a company licensed by them. By that time it was already too late. Still even though I declined to purchase their "insurance" until I did a restart I had no understanding of what was done. I told them I would not pay them anything and though it would be a hardship I would buy a new PC first. Thanks again for your attention to this matter. I will come back to post the results and bookmark your site. ATB2U! Sincerely, Joe/atb4u

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#8
June 7, 2012 at 15:16:01
Thanks for feedback - appreciated.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#9
June 7, 2012 at 18:55:32
It shouldn't be necessary to buy a new PC. At most, as Derek mentioned above, you can use the PC's restore disk (if it didn't come with one you may be able to order one from the its support page) or there may be a restore partition on the hard drive.

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#10
June 9, 2012 at 14:52:32
I put the original XP disc1 in both my CD & DVD drives but nothing happens, is there a command I should be using or a function key?

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#11
June 9, 2012 at 15:11:57
It should have worked. Try the AutoPlay fix from here:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down...

Don't forget you will need drivers.

If you have never done these two or similar before you start:
http://m.lifehacker.com/157578/geek...
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/opera...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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