I know it's not my usual day for a Bella's World post but I really wanted to let you guys know what's been happening and why I haven't been around much lately.
My hubby took a call last week from a guy claiming to be from Microsoft who was calling because of all the problems we had been having with our computer - he said they had noticed a lot of error messages being sent from our desktop and was trying to sort the problem, (This was perfectly true - we've had loads of computer problems for quite a while). Hubby was immediately suspicious and asked how we could tell he wasn't going to hack our computer. The guy managed to persuade him to open up the computer and showed him all this info on the screen, claiming that "only Microsoft would have access to this". Still not convinced hubby asked him if he could take his number and call back to verify he was from Microsoft, which he did. That seemed to convince my poor hubby who then allowed the guy access to the computer.
Two hours later he was still on the phone. He said the guy had offered to get the computer "up to speed" for the reasonable cost of £150. I said no, we didn't want that. Hubby went back to him to decline the offer when the guy persuaded him it wouldn't take long and he could offer it to us for £10 a month instead of the whole amount so close to Christmas. Hubby agreed and proceeded to dish out his bank details. A few minutes later my hubby came in to tell me that his payment had been declined so he gave the guy my bank details, but that I needed to speak to my bank to authorize payment. Furthermore, I was to say exactly what the guy wrote on the screen to avoid paying tax! Microsoft fiddling the taxman???? (It also didn't add up that hubby's bank would decline the payment - he earns a darn site more than me and I knew he had cash in his account). I shook my head, rang my bank, ignored what the guy was asking me to say and told the bank exactly what was going on. They promptly connected me with their Fraud Team, who took all the details after telling me to get my hubby to hang up on the creep.
Needless to say, the guy then locked us out of our own computer and stole £200 from hubby's bank account. We called the Police Fraud Squad but don't hold out much hope of them catching him. The bank have also refused to reimburse the stolen money. All of the family's computers connect to the same wifi so we took them all to town and got them checked for viruses and unlocked, before changing all our passwords. Hence I'm more than a week behind on my writing.
Hubby felt sick about being duped - had he not been home with a really awful cold he might have sussed the con straight away, who knows?
Anyway, no-one died (though the guy might if I ever meet the git!) and everyone's all right. The only thing we lost in the end was money. It was a lesson well-learned for all of us and I'm determined not to lose any more sleep over it. A friend of ours who only lives a few miles away informed us that he, too, had a call from 'Microsoft' less than a week after us. Luckily he hung up straight away. If anyone else can learn from our mistake then it was worth going through - be aware though, that these guys can appear REALLY plausible - my hubby was skeptical at first but the guy had him totally convinced after a few minutes.
OK, so we might not be buying quite as many gifts as we would like this Christmas now that the bank account has been robbed and repair costs were high, but the lying git isn't getting anything else from us. We've still got our health (even hubby's cold is better now) and we hope to have all the family around for the festive season so we'll all be happy - and that's something no-one can take from us! :)
Take care, and be extra vigilant,