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grizfish

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 22, 2011
33
0
On Christmas Eve the screen on my wife's 2015 MBPr froze up and she could get no response. Then a message was displayed stating they represented Apple Computer and listed an 888 number to call for assistance.
They instructed her to enter information. A few minutes later they said her computer was infected and could fix it if she gave them her credit card number. During the next 3 hours, they installed programs and totally modified her internet access. It was a 2 person team who requested call backs to a different number and other instructions about how to use her new internet access.
I became aware of this 'change' when trying to access my Yahoo homepage and Yahoo Mail in Safari on my 2017 iMac. A page was displayed saying "Safari Can't Open the Page" ....."because Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server "login.yahoo.com".
End result was a $399 Visa charge and numerous programs in Applications, Libraries, Utilities and other places.

Can anyone instruct me on where I can access instructions to erase our hard drives and re-install the original Apple S/W? There are just too many added files in hidden locations for me to just erase the new files. There were also security changes that I cannot find that will not allow me to access about half the websites I need to use.
 

Trebuin

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2008
1,494
272
Central Cali
First, call up your credit card company to reverse that charge and make sure you tell them that the company was not Apple and did not provide the services rendered.
 
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Surrat

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2014
478
171
United States
I work at an Apple authorized service provider, and we deal with this garbage frequently.
Those scammers trick people into paying for their lies, and I feel for you.

I would look online to find the closest Apple authorized service center in your area, or call your closest Apple Store and they can tell you who it is. Take it to them explain what happened, and they can wipe the computer and reload it, ensuring its 'clean'. If your tech savvy enough you can do this reload yourself, but from my experience, few Apple owners are comfortable doing it.

I hate these scammers with a passion, and it pisses me off to no end every time somebody gets hit by them.
 

grizfish

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 22, 2011
33
0
I work at an Apple authorized service provider, and we deal with this garbage frequently.
Those scammers trick people into paying for their lies, and I feel for you.

I would look online to find the closest Apple authorized service center in your area, or call your closest Apple Store and they can tell you who it is. Take it to them explain what happened, and they can wipe the computer and reload it, ensuring its 'clean'. If your tech savvy enough you can do this reload yourself, but from my experience, few Apple owners are comfortable doing it.

I hate these scammers with a passion, and it pisses me off to no end every time somebody gets hit by them.
[doublepost=1514315378][/doublepost]Thanks for your response.
My wife has an appointment with our nearest Apple store to get her MBP reloaded.
She has contacted her card company with a charge dispute.
I just switched to Firefox and transferred favorites. I can now access all my bookmarks.
Still not understanding how they screwed up Safari on my iMac.

Maybe I'm just a cynical old goat, but it sure looks like they were setting me up to request assistance, for a price, to "fix" my iMac also.
 
Last edited:

Surrat

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2014
478
171
United States
Those phone number scam screens are just a full screen web page displaying as a popup. They work on any browser unless you set its security to max, which causes many websites to not work correctly.

Its just a full screen web page, they didnt hack the mac, or break into its security, the full screen web page is confusing to most users. All you have to do is move your mouse to the top of the screen and the bar will drop down with controls.

If you prefer using Safari, keep using it. I prefer Firefox, but its not because of any security advantage, its just usability.
[doublepost=1514317519][/doublepost]
I always have a hard time believing people fall for these scams but apparently they must work.

They do work, and sadly work best on seniors that dont know much about computers.
I think in the last year, I have dealt with 4 or 5 owners that paid those bastards.
I would love to see the cyber police nail them.
 

maxq

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2014
60
28
Basingstoke, UK
I would love to see the cyber police nail them.
This sort of thing has been going on for years on Windows machines too with them claiming to represent Microsoft and things like "we monitor every computer connected to the Internet and yours raised a red flag because it has a virus". The best response I've seen was when just by chance they ended up talking to one of the journalists on the BBC's "Click" tech show, who realised what was happening and played along and pretended to be an ignorant user, asking them "innocent" questions like "and you really have a program there that monitors my machine for viruses?".

Eventually, she told them who she was and they suddenly lost interest! She recorded the whole thing and it's probably still on line somewhere. Nice to know they do get bitten occasionally, but I'm sure they went right back to work on the next poor victim despite that call being reported to the police, as it seems to be hard to actually get them prosecuted and shut down.
 
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