I got a call from P that something was suspicious. He’d purchased a couple of Amazon Echo DOTs and one of them had stopped working about a day and a half in.
In attempts to contact Amazon he managed to get SEOd into going to a non-Amazon location which advertised ECHO DOT assistance.
Basically the ECHO DOT was dead, but we’ll get to that.
They convinced him to allow them into his computer to access his Amazon settings via a TeamViewer download, and while in his computer, surprise surprise, they found problems with his computer.
They asked him to log in on a different computer if he had it, because, of course, viruses and all. The other computer was not working (unrelated reasons,) and so they went back to the first computer telling him he needed to purchase AVG at $500 or so for a lifetime subscription.
Keeping in mind that this was a call about a $30 ECHO DOT that was not functioning and he was under the impression he was dealing with an Amazon affiliate. He told them he was going to talk to me and did.
It’s an interesting scam, upselling a $24 a year AVG subscription to $500 and claiming the computer is now miraculously fixed.
I got to the house, computer was off as I’d instructed. Located what had been installed (one plugin, one standalone portable remote control app,) and removed. I checked with the scamware company and they’ve just got a responder that gets some info and directs someone to call you. Ran a couple of rootkit testers and verified that the startup entries were what they should be / nothing new.
Anyway, moral of the story is don’t trust google for solutions that connect you to a human for hardware issues, and never allow anyone to remote control your computer or have you download and execute an app.
The DOT – it is a hardware failure. It’s dead. Not the power supply. Just dead. Laptop is/was an unrelated WiFi issue.