I’ve been had and taken for a ride!!

You think a deal is deal....NOT
Over a week ago I blogged that I was having some trouble with my home PC and was getting this error message whenever I wanted to run some ham software. I was not able to open the software at all I was just shown this error message. I did lots of searching on the web to see if there was a work around or a solution other than re-formatting my hard drive. In my travels on the web I came across this site that said their software dealt specifically with removing Windows error codes. I did some reading and they did have a free trial software so I downloaded it and gave it a go. Sure enough it did identify the problems on my PC and namely it pointed out that ERROR 2908 was a big one and could be cleared......BUT.........to do so the software had to be purchased! Well I did some looking around the net again about this software in particular and it did get some good reviews. So I sent the money via PayPal  and soon after had a email with what I thought would be the key code to unlock the program and allow me full access. Well a 1-888 number was given and I was asked to call the get the key code. So I did and sure enough a person answered and gave me a code and the program was up and running. While on the phone with me this person wanted to make sure I knew how the program worked and the problem I had to want me to purchase the program. I thought "well this is customer service" After about 10 minutes on the phone with me and paying 50.00 for the software' I was told that my problem was "complex"........BUT........he could fix my problem via having control of my PC in about 20 minutes. Again I thought "this is great customer service"........BUT........then he added for 200.00 via PayPal it could be all looked after!!!!
Well that was the end of that call and my PC was not fixed at this point, as a matter of fact he never even used this software to see if a fix could be done. So I ran the software and it finished, it removed my ham programs and would not allow me to download them again. I have contacted PayPal to dispute this product and get my money back so we will see what happens there. They are in the final steps so I should know soon.
My solution was to re-format my hard drives and get a good Mal-ware/spyware tool!!
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “I’ve been had and taken for a ride!!”

  • Paul Kenyon K1LLR:

    very familiar with your problem. And I also lost everything in my computer. Even HRD was gone and now I have to purchase that back. It used to be free. OH well! Live and learn, live and let live, but I live in NH-Live free or DIE!..73 Paul

  • Mike KF7VZZ:

    I’ve supported copmuters and software for many years. It’s likely you got taken in “hijack-ware” in which your PC is hijacked until you pay, and then you’re still on their list.

    The best option I’ve found so far is (free) malwarebytes at malwarebytes.org. Their free scanner has a pay component but 98% of the things you’ll do with it can be done with the free parts. Without fail it got rid of the hijack-ware.

    Once client of mine had giver her credit card info to the company. I told her to cut up the card and call the credit card company! I hope paypal is able to help.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Paul, yes it sure is a hard lesson to learn and now that things here are up and running….and I might say running better than they were before. I decided to give CW skimmer a go and it works great and also PowerSDR as well. So in the long run it would be great if PayPal does refund my money but the PC is better than it was.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Mike, I now have Malwarebytes on my PC (the free version) and I am going to run it often just to make sure all is well. It was good I did not give out a credit card number and I have left it in PayPal hands. We will see how they do but I have learned my lesson for sure.
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  • Matt W1MST:

    Mike and Mike,

    I’m also a fan of Malwarebytes. You should also use the free anti-rootkit software they offer. Rootkits are a different type of malware that sometimes are not detected by standard antivirus software (even the standard Malwarebytes).


  • Brad NK8J:

    HRD is still Free. the free versions are on the Amateurlogic.tv site.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Matt, I will give that a whirl and add more protection to the PC.
    Thanks for the link and have a good week.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Brad that’s good to know and I not sure how many out there realize that there is still the free version out there…..I hope Paul stops by and reads your post.

  • Mike, I deal with viruses, malware, etc as part of my job keeping cancer research computers running. I agree 100% with those here who are recommending Malwarebytes to get things clean. To prevent things from getting infected in the first place, I offer some advice: I also maintain all of the family’s systems (spouse, 2 kids, 4 step-kids, brother, sis-in-law, 2 nieces, AND the ex), as well as a few private clients. I’ve tried most major, and not-so-major antivirus packages, and my favorite happens to be free. I keep these systems clean by running a combination of AVIRA Anti-VIR, and Threatfire. AVIRA so far, has been the fastest to detect, with the lowest overhead. I’ve found almost everything else has a pretty high drag on the system, especially with an older XP system. Also, when I’ve needed to uninstall, AVIRA always leaves gracefully. I’ve had at least one or more uninstall disasters with everything else at some point when trying to repair a badly infected system. Threatfire is a neat little program that sits quietly, and looks for things that are not normal. A 100% heuristic scanner. It has very little overhead, and pops up once in awhile and lets you know what it’s blocking. If you prefer a full-blown commercial product, I recommend Kaspersky, or F-prot, or even the paid version of AVIRA. Quick note: With Windows 7, or 8, Microsoft’s own antivirus (Security Essentials) is actually pretty good, and I rarely have such great things to say about MS products these days. 73!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Neil, well thanks very much for the great advice and direction on where to go. I am going to look into these products and for sure going to do my best to not have this happen again. Thanks very much for taking the time and effort to give sure a detailed advice. I hope others who read your reply will reap benefits from it as well.

  • Bill - WA8MEA:

    Wellllll – I’m one of those that does believe in the PCMatic type software’s. I had some real issues with this little Acer desktop PC of mine. The software did just what was advertised. And it keeps it running fast. I’ve been using it now for years.

    With that said, I thought it might be a good thing to add to my lil’ laptop… even though I had not been having any issues with the laptop. The PCMatic went berserk! It saw everything coming onto the computer as a threat, so it would just lock up. After that, I uninstalled the PCMatic and installed AVG, CCleaner and Spybot.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Matt, at this point I have CCleaner, Malwerebytes and sympatic 360….But Neil in an earlier comment did bring some other software to light that I may end up looking into on the weekend.

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