Today was the Closest I’ve Ever Come To Being Scammed

I’m not going to say I’m unscammable, because no one is, but I try to do everything I possibly can to avoid being hacked or scammed.

I never click on links I don’t recognize in emails. I have my phone number listed on the National Do Not Call list and I don’t answer telephone calls from unknown numbers. I have long and complicated passwords for everything, as well as two-step verification for everything under the sun that offers it. Did you know you can set up two-step verification for Amazon? I just discovered that and activated it.

I subscribe to a program that daily backs up all my photos and files on my computer. I’ve had my credit frozen with all three credit bureaus for the past ten years, only unthawing it twice over the years for a few days each time. I  have my blog backed up daily in three different ways, including an offsite backup in case the main backup server should fail.

Basically, I try to do everything I can to avoid being damaged via a hack or scam, but today I came as close as I’ve ever come to being scammed. I think the only thing that saved me was an “annoying” habit I have of going into lengthy, excruciating detail describing an issue to any employee who has the misfortune to win the “Susan Lottery” and talk to me after I’ve been wronged by their company.

I also demand answers and an explanation on how and why something has happened and what they plan to do about it! Yep, I’m THAT customer! I think I just basically wore my scammer out and he gave up. Ever read, The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry? lol I think by the end, the scammer who called just wanted to get off the phone with me. 😉 

Red Chief

Source: entertainmentguide.local.com

Okay, I’m going to put this next sentence in bold and please promise me  you’ll remember it if you are a Microsoft Windows user.

If you ever call Microsoft Corporation’s customer service number with a computer issue, then receive a “follow-up” call from them a week or two later, DON’T TALK TO THEM. It’s a scam!

Microsoft told me they have no idea how the scammers are getting the numbers of folks who have previously called their customer service department with issues, but it’s happening and it’s happening a lot.

You may want to get a cup of coffee or a glass of tea for this story. Popcorn might be in order, too. I hope by sharing what happened to me, it saves a few folks from falling for this sophisticated, very believable scam, one that even has Microsoft scratching their collective heads.

A little background so you know why I fell for this scam today: Recently I called Microsoft for assistance with an issue I was having with both my desktop and laptop computer. I’ll spare you all the boring details but the short version is that my computer updated itself from Windows 7 to to Windows 10 without my permission and completely against my wishes.

When I came home and found my desktop computer had converted to Windows 10 on its own, despite the fact I had rejected the update a million times over the previous weeks, I literally sat down at my desk and cried. It’s the first time I can recall bawling my eyes out over a computer issue.

a

Source: betanews.com

While I was out running an errand, Microsoft broke into my home, stole my computer and replaced it with something I didn’t recognize. Read THIS article by Wayne Williams for more information if you’ve been a victim of the Windows 10 zombie update or are currently being threatened with update notifications. Also, HERE is another article from the same site that’s worth a read.

It may sound crazy, crying over a computer problem, but I have thousands and thousands of pictures neatly organized and saved in little folders on my computer. The update screwed all that up completely. It totally ruined my filing system and I had no idea if I would ever be able to get things back to the way they were before the zombie 10 invasion.

I googled and found step-by-step directions online explaining how to revert back to Windows 7. The most important thing to know is if Microsoft Corporation takes over your computer and changes your operating system via an update to Windows 10, you have exactly 30 days to change it back. After 30 days, you’re done for, there’s no going back. I think that you can revert back even if you voluntarily updated to Windows 10 and it turns out you don’t like it, but call Microsoft to verify that first just to make sure. 

There’s no guarantee reverting back to Windows 7 will make you whole again. The article I linked to above, as well as the comments in that article, indicate that not everyone has been able to revert back successfully.

After my desktop computer apocalypse happened and I figured out how to revert back to Windows 7, I continued to get  the threatening Windows 10 update messages on both my desktop and laptop almost daily. 🙁

The messages don’t ask if you want to update, they give you a choice: Update Now or Update Later. I think one said, Update Now or Update Tonight. It’s truly sickening. There is no choice that you can click that says, don’t update at all, so I always just exited out or rebooted my computer.

Since I was getting the messages again, I called Microsoft’s Customer Service and they accessed my desktop computer and supposedly fixed it where it wouldn’t update again. I watched as the Microsoft tech guy commandeered my computer and did about 10 solid minutes of work that I couldn’t have repeated in a thousand years, in an attempt to prevent it from automatically updating to Windows 10 again.

Then he repeated the whole process on my laptop since I was also getting the threatening update messages there, too. When I spent a small fortune a year ago having Lenovo build a laptop exactly to the specifications I requested (which included Windows 7) ,  to take with me when traveling,  I never dreamed for a moment that one day Microsoft would simply log in with an update and change it to what they wanted me to have. There are no words to describe what I feel as I type that. Well, actually there are words but I try to keep this blog G rated, so I’ll spare you those.

Update: Thanks to Nancy for sharing an article she found, apparently at least one person has sued Microsoft (and won) for automatically updating their computer against their wishes. You can read the article here: Woman Wins $10,000 Judgement again Microsoft for Forced Windows 10 Upgrade

Then It Starts All Over Again

After Microsoft did the work they did that day, everything was good for a few weeks, then the threatening messages started up again on my laptop. A Windows 10 apocalypse was imminent. Once again I had to waste my valuable time to call Microsoft for help to make it stop. The tech guy who answered went into my computer and fixed it again, assuring me once again that the update would not come back.

SCAM ALERT

So here’s where it gets interesting. My phone calls to Microsoft took place about two weeks ago. Today, July 2, 2016, I got a call from a Bellevue, WA number, (425) area code. This number has been calling me over and over the last week or so. They’ve been very persistent! I never answer numbers I don’t know so had never answered, and they never left a message.

I Googled the number a few days ago and found an online discussion where some folks were saying it was a legit call from Microsoft’s Customer Service. Other folks were saying they didn’t think it was legit, so I wasn’t sure what to think.

Today I went ahead and answered the call since I had just talked to Microsoft recently. I wondered why they were calling me back. The guy calling told me he was following up on my recent ticket where I was having issues and wanted to know if everything was still working okay and if I had been satisfied with the customer service I received.

I don’t remember now if he named what the problem they had fixed was, or not, but he sounded completely legit. He was very friendly and professional. I fully believed it was Microsoft since he was aware of my recent calls to them.

Still angry about the whole upgrade debacle, I basically went into a tirade all over again about the Windows 10 update that took place without my permission and how I had to go through the process to revert my computer back to Windows 7. I also complained about how the first time I called and they fixed it on my desktop and laptop, it didn’t stay fixed and I had to call back a second time, etc… I went over the whole sordid tale.

He listened patiently, apologizing several times for what had happened. He asked if I had seen any more problems. I told him no, but that I didn’t use my laptop very much, so only time would tell if it was truly fixed.

He offered to check my laptop to verify the work had been done correctly the last time. He seemed to be following up like a supervisor might do behind a new employee or something. I ask if he was a supervisor and he said, yes.

I almost took him up on his offer to go into the computer to verify that it was really fixed this time, but I was still so mad about what had happened, I just went back to ranting about Microsoft having the gall to take over people’s computers and update them whether they wanted their crappy Windows 10 operating system or not. I think you get the picture. Madder than a wet hen, I was!

Buff Orbington Chicken

 

After a while he gave up and seemed to just want to end the phone call, a scene right out of The Ransom of Red Chief! lol I’m glad I ranted on giving him an earful because it turned out to be a scam. Here’s how I figured it out after the phone call ended.

The Ransom of Red Chief 2

Photo from The Ransom of Red Chief

While talking with him, I kept hearing a beeping sound, indicating I had another call coming in. When we hung up, I saw the missed call was the same number again, the same number as that of the guy with whom I had just been speaking, and the same number that had been calling me all week. I wondered why someone else from “Microsoft” was calling me when I was already talking with someone from Microsoft!

Ummm, a funny feeling began to creep in. Something wasn’t adding up. I decided to call Microsoft and ask if they had a record of my previous calls and the work they had done for me and if they had just called me to follow up. Thankfully they did have records on the previous work they had done on my computer, but they said they had not called me back today to follow-up.

I ended up talking with a manager who told me it was all a scam and that they have been getting reports of this scam a lot. The Microsoft manager said, if you give the scammers access to your computer, they will add some malware to it that gives them access to your credit card numbers and other personal data. He said the bad guys will even give you a ticket number after they go into your computer and perform their “work” because they know that’s what Microsoft always does when they work on a customer’s computer. Whoever is scamming folks sure knows a lot about Microsoft’s procedures.

I read online that bad guys can even make a phone’s caller ID say whatever number they wish, so when you Google the number that’s calling, it will appear to be coming from a legitimate company of their choosing. Have you heard of that? I wonder if that’s true?

I asked the manager at Microsoft how this guy who had claimed to be calling from Microsoft, knew that I had recently talked with Microsoft about an issue with my computer. He said they didn’t know how the bad guys were getting the phone numbers of people they have recently helped, but that they were working to figure that out. Great.

It sounds to me like it’s an inside job, like someone who works for Microsoft is giving the phone numbers of customers who have recently called for help to the bad guys, or maybe they, themselves, are the bad guys.

So, if you call Microsoft for help and get a follow-up call a week or two later, it’s a scam! The Microsoft manager I spoke with said they never call folks to follow-up on a previous issue, unless something is left unfinished during the previous call.

Also, hindsight is 20/20 and after thinking about it today, it’s highly unlikely a “supervisor” as the guy claimed to be when I asked, would be calling me to follow-up on a previous service call. I think supervisors have better things to do, especially with all the angry Windows-10-Apocalypse calls they must be getting these days.

Just wanted to let you know about this scam because I came really close to letting this guy access my laptop today! Just remember, Microsoft NEVER makes follow-up calls unless they were working with you on an issue with your computer and it was left unfinished, which apparently is very rare.

Please tell everyone you know who uses Windows 7 about this, especially if they have plans to call Microsoft for help. I can’t believe I almost gotten taken! I’m going back to my “never answer numbers I don’t know” policy because you can’t trust anyone, not even your Called ID.

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Comments

  1. I’m sorry this happened to you. I have received several of these calls. I typically don’t answer calls with unknown numbers, however, because my husband is very ill and we receive a lot of call backs from physicians/clinics with unknown numbers, I now have to answer every call we receive. Luckily my son works in the computer industry and he had warned me about this. There was even a segment on our local news channel. I am a retired Speech Therapist and now work from home for an e-commerce call center (not Microsoft). I suspect it may be former employees (probably earning minimum wage) who have worked for Microsoft’s call center, collected the information, and now have that information to do the scams. I shake my head and wonder why can’t these people use their skills for the greater good?!

  2. I just sat here a moment, just stunned. I would totally have fallen for it. But how does MS even have the right to get into your computer to update to Windows 10 in the first place?! How smart and intuitive to sense and suspect something out of place. Thanks so much for getting this out to us. Really!

    • The guy said it’s in their regular update. You know how sometimes when you log on to your computer, windows will tell you that there are some new updates. It happens every so often. Of course, we have no idea what the updates are and just figure it’s to fix a bug and make something work better. The guy at Microsoft who first worked on my computer to try and make it not update me again (after I reverted back to Windows 7) “acted” like they had just accidentally included this in an update…like it wasn’t planned to force people to update to Windows 10. I don’t believe that for one second!

  3. Bonnie Schulte says

    Thank you so much for the information. It is important to be aware of scams like this, and I had not heard of this one before. Again, thanks…

  4. Pippa Griffin says

    I think you are beyond fantastic to share this information. I had something similar happen and halfway through, I thought – wait a second, my laptop is new and there is no way I have the problems they are saying I have. So I immediately logged off, shut off the computer, unplugged it etc.

    I no longer let my computer go to sleep mode. I have it on a surge strip with an on/off switch so I turn off the laptop and unplug it as well. I also turn off my wifi modem when done each day. I know that sounds excessive but computer problems are right up there with auto problems for me – the
    people in the know are speaking a language I don’t understand! LOL

    You are simply the best to share what you went through – and hallelujah to you for not letting the scammers win!

    • You were so smart to do that, Pippa. I think we need to listen to our gut instinct. If we get that nagging feeling something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Good for you for not falling for that!

  5. I have been getting requests from Microsoft to update to Windows 10 and got tired of that so I just finished updating 5 minutes before reading your post today. Now I wish I had stayed with Windows 7. So glad you didn’t get scammed. I don’t answer numbers that I don’t recognize either.

    • Linda, since you just did it, if you don’t like it, I think you can still convert back. It’s my understanding that you can do that within 30 days of changing to Windows 10, just not after 30 days.
      I followed the instructions I found HERE to change back. But before you do anything, you may want to call Microsoft and ask them how to change back. Those instructions worked for me, but I would call Microsoft first before you follow the instructions, just to make sure it will work on your computer.
      Also, in the article I linked to in this post, there are several links in that article that show to convert back to Windows 7. It was very easy when I did it, just terrifying at the time since I wasn’t sure it would work and what would happen. You can google how to change back and find a lot of articles with directions. It was literally just a few steps.

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience with being forced to accept Windows 10. I, too lost my photos when this happened. It seems like every time I get used to a certain way of doing things, everything changes without my permission. Why do they have a right to do things like this? Sometimes, especially with photos, I think I would just like to go back to old fashioned photos that I can hold in my hand. At least that way when they disappear, it will be because they are hiding under the clutter in my house!

    • Judy, one thing you may want to consider doing is buying a separate backup drive for your photos and copying/backing them up to that backup drive. I did that years ago but the first time I backed up my photos, it didn’t save them in the folders, just threw them all onto the drive, so I stopped. I need to find a way to get the old program I use to store them, onto a backup drive or something so I can store them correctly, just have no idea how to do that.
      I’m so sorry you lost your photos. Mine were still there, just not arranged as I had them when I was in Windows 7. I was so thankful I was able to revert back because I access those old photos all the time when creating new blog posts or posting to Instagram, etc…

  7. Patricia says

    I am so over these scammers. After having been the victim of identity theft nearly 25 years ago, I learned early on to be uber careful on the computer. But lately the robo telephone callers have been driving me insane. Of course I am on the government donotcall list but that only keeps legitimate companies from calling me. But it doesn’t scare the scammers one iota. Apparently everyone who has ever ordered anything online and filled in their telephone number is at risk. So long story short, I recently subscribed to nomorobo and now pay $9/month for a service that updates every 15 minutes to keep these creeps from ringing my phone off the hook. This it seems is what this world has come to??? I sincerely hope your situation has resolved itself. I too have been ignoring the windows 10 badgering.

    • I’ll tell you something I do, whenever I order anything only, I used a fake phone number. It doesn’t matter if I’m ordering from Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom or wherever, I list a fake number. They don’t need my number because they already have my email and that’s good enough. If they have a delivery issue which they shouldn’t since my home has been in the same spot for over 30 years, they can email me. I hadn’t heard of nomorobo but will check that service out. Thanks, Patricia!

    • Well, unfortunately Verizon doesn’t support nomorobo, so I can’t add that to my phone. Maybe it’s time to switch to AT & T. They do support it.

  8. Carolyn Price says

    Great info, Susan. But good grief … the trouble you’ve gone through!! I didn’t know this type of take-over was possible. Love my 7; not fond of 10 at all.
    I phone unknown numbers back as a “test.” The call usually goes to a recording that says the number is out of order or no longer in service. If these numbers come in on my cell, I block them.
    Wish these clever scammers would work on a cure for cancer!

    • Carolyn, I don’t think I would call them back because their system might keep up with who calls back and see it as verification for them that they are actually getting through to you and should keep calling you. I definitely wouldn’t call them back.

      • Patricia says

        Susan is correct. Answering those calls verifies that there is a ‘live’ person on the other end and validates the number for even more calls. If you have an iphone you can automatically block the number, but I guarantee they will be back the next day calling with a new number from a different zip code. Stupidly, I used to think I had to give my real number out for delivery purposes but now I don’t. I ended up changing telephone numbers for this reason too. The sole purpose of these microsoft phone scammers is to get access to your passwords so they can place a virus on your computer and then hold your computer ransom ( hence the name of the virus is ‘ransom’) until you pay them a couple of hundred bucks to set your computer free. Entire school districts have paid tens of thousands of dollars to these criminals when someone unwittingly gave out critical access. I applaud you Susan- you handled them beautifully!

  9. Oh wow, that is AWFUL! I am sooo glad you didn’t fall for it!

    Another big scam that is out there ….the IRS scam. I would think most people would not fall for this since (from my experience 3 times) it was a man with a harsh accent calling me. I could tell his schpeel was rehearsed or being read. I also have dealt with the IRS, so I know they don’t call you. (You can barely get through to them when YOU need THEM!) But older people and those who are not familiar with how the IRS notifies people might just fall for it. They called my cell phone, so I knew in 3 seconds it was a scam. I don’t give that number out. I don’t know the extent of the scam, but from what I LET him tell me, they are saying you owe money and you have to pay them ASAP or they will take your house and car, etc. I’m assuming they want credit card info or better yet, bank info. They continue to call me…and leave messages even. Their recorded message is so unprofessional it’s nuts!

    • Robin, makes sure you phone number is on the National Do Not Call List…just google that for more info. It’s free. Also, block the number on your phone. I only use a cell and whenever a number calls me and doesn’t leave a message, I block the number so they go straight to VM after that, and the scammers who call me, never leave messages. Don’t ever talk with them, sorry you’re going through that. 🙁

  10. Thanks for the info. I usually don’t answer strange numbers either, but when expecting a call one day I answered one by mistake. The man wanted me to log onto my computer so he could “fix” a problem microsoft said I was having. I pretended to be dumb and that my stepson always fixed our computer. I said if he would give me a phone number, I would have my stepson call him back the next time he was at my house. The guy said “Never mind” and hung up on me. I wasn’t really as dumb as he thought. In reference to credit card use on the internet, I bought a Bluebird prepaid card from American Express at Walmart for $5.00 and I just load it with the amount of money I need for an internet purchase. There aren’t any fees unless you use it at an ATM. If I decide to buy something online I just go to Walmart, add the cash to the card and place my order. The rest of the time I just keep about $10.00 balance on the card. If someone steals the number they won’t get much. I get a daily email with the balance too. How sad so many people are crooks.

  11. Jane Franks says

    Yup! They’re out there! Another one to avoid is any blue screen that comes up telling you that your computer is going to crash if you exit out of the screen. And that you IMMEDIATELY have to call Microsoft, giving a number for them to fix it! DON’T open it; just exit out. Also my local professional reputable “real tech I see face to face” shop told me the best security to get is Avast. Since I’ve had them, no bad stuff gets through.

  12. Carolyn Price says

    PS: I used to teach the short story, “The Ransom of Red Chief” in Lierature class years ago. Brought back some great memories. O’Henry also wrote, “The Gift of the Magi.” Another terrific classic.

  13. I know that scammers can manipulate caller ID, because the idiots used my own phone number! I’m like, whut?!! No way I’m calling myself on my home phone (I’m a dinosaur who actually still has a landline in addition to my cell) FROM my home phone! Nincompoots! I don’t answer, I just screen all calls..

  14. Jane Franks says

    Yup! They’re out there! Another one to avoid is any blue screen that comes up telling you that your computer is going to crash if you exit out of the screen. And that you IMMEDIATELY have to call Microsoft, giving a number for them to fix it! DON’T open it; just exit out. Also my local professional reputable “real tech I see face to face” shop told me the best security to get is Avast. Since I’ve had them, no bad stuff gets through. Also, Avast won’t let my system automatically update anything without asking me if I’m sure I want to do this.

  15. Jane Franks says

    I do believe the guy that told you the Windows 10 automatic update was mistakenly included in a regular update was telling you the truth. That happened to me, and I was beside myself for a couple of hours until I figured out how to get back to 7. My biggest problem was getting back my Chrome browser and Gmail, but after some trial and error and asking some online chat questions I finally figured it out, and everything has been fine since.

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I’m so sorry you went through this. It is terrible that there are so many bad people out there who want to take advantage of others.

  17. I get these calls all the time, but get this, I have a Mac. Yep, that’s right, an Apple product, nothing to do with Microsoft. Guess that is my clue to hang up on them. I have gotten so many of these calls, I am almost tempted to buy a whistle and blow it in their ear just to annoy the heck out of them. 🙂

  18. I once had to call Amazon & couldn’t find a number on the web site so goggled it.Called spoke to someone about a missing pillow insert.He wanted card number & I told him he didn’t need it,When I wanted a supervisor that person told me someone was trying to use my card & they needed to verify my card.Hung up called my card company of course it wasn’t true & they gave me number I needed to call Amazon.So it was a fake website number!!!!! Also we once got a call that came up with our name & number,so they can do anything. Thanks for the warning.

  19. More than likely the guy who fixed your computer at MS probably sold your number to an outside scammer..most of the tech calls are taken in India and routed to a tech center in India…A few years ago there was a huge credit card scam being perpetrated on those that called a BIG outdoors catalog company to place orders.The guy taking the order…a convicted prisoner who was still in prison taking those orders for the BIG store.He then sold your credit card number to a bud on the outside and bam within a week you were wracking up debt until you were maxed out.The BIG store no longer employees the outside prisoners to take orders..duh..wonder why…I am glad you now have a working computer..I disabled and un-installed all the crap they installed to give me Win 10–I kindly told them to go suck an egg.

  20. Renee Cook says

    Gosh, I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time. Thank you for making us aware of this elaborate scam; I’m so grateful you didn’t fall victim. I’ve been holding onto Windows 7, too, and it’s good to know that updating to 10 isn’t mandatory.

  21. Wow Susan. Scary to think people spend so much time and effort to scam us. I received a call from Microsoft, but I hadn’t called them. The tip off it was young guys and he laughed, (I could hear others in the background), so I told him to get a life.
    What I did to stop the constant update messages was go into the system and suspend all updates on my computer.
    Awhile back I switched to Bright House for my computer. I think they sold my number because I got a ton of calls immediately after. I kept telling them I was on the do not call list, sometimes over their canned speech.
    Kim Komando online and on the radio is a great source for computer information and alerts.

  22. Sorry you experienced this. I have Windows 7 and would absolutely hate to have my system switched to Windows 10. Did you have automatic updates on? I’ve hated each system since 7. I too search telephone numbers that I don’t recognize.

    • I think I do. I remember one time going in and changing it where it wouldn’t do that, but the danger with doing that is if they have an update for a vulnerability or to fix a bug, and you don’t do it, you risk getting hacked. If I turn off the automatic updates, I’m afraid I’ll miss the important ones. I don’t mind automatic updates as long as they don’t alter the basics like the OS.
      Yeah, I search every number and then block it if it’s not one I know. I absolutely hate that they lifted the ban on letting telemarketers call your personal cell. My number is on the National Do Not Call List but I think I read it doesn’t apply to cell phones. 🙁

      • Do you know for sure the ban was lifted? I’m pretty sure they are just calling anyway, and it’s mostly robo calls. I don’t think there’s a DNC list that doesn’t apply to cells. No good reason for that. The DNC worked until the scammers found a way around it.

  23. Susan, you are a treasure. I get calls all the time, they say they are from the IRS, some guy with an Indian accent threatens me if I don’t pay my lien. I have no lien. Then on Friday a woman called and yelled at me and said, “Do you know how long I have been trying to reach you? I have been calling since January. Why won’t you answer your phone?” She said she wants to invest my retirement and get great interest. I had been waiting for a call from my doctor or I would not have answered then. I only answer if they speak up and identify who they are. I am not interested in their con. As my nephew says, “You can bet there is nothing in it for you”. I totally agree with him.

    I tell my family I believe I am being spied on. I think it is what I search on line, and then I see an ad on my television about it. Or if I am on the phone, then I get an ad on my computer. It is totally weird and my Smart tv may be the culprit. We are going to test it with some weird obscure subject for the phone and the computer to see who is selling my information.

    Love Red Chief, Gift of The Magi, and Last Leaf.

  24. Margaret says

    I feel your pain – I have a computer with a hardware issue with Windows 7 Professional – Best operating system of all!!!! Also “had” a computer that I upgraded from 8.1 to 10 and it messed up my computer so badly I just bought a new one (luckily I had backed up everything before the upgrade!) The new one has Windows 10 – but so far, I’m OK – One thing about Windows 7 – Microsoft will no longer actively support this operating system with updates/fixes unless you have Service Pack 1 – then they will only support security issues (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet)
    I organize my photos by month and rename them as I download them – e.g. folder name: 2016-06Jun and picture file name is: 2016-06Jun1234, 2016-06Jun1235, etc. When I save the month’s photo folder to my external hard drive, I open the external hard drive in one window and File Explorer in another window – then, I just drag the folder from my computer to the external hard drive – this keeps the same folder in each location
    LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!

    • Thanks so much, Margaret! The good thing is Windows will continue to offer support and security updates to Windows 7 until January 14, 2020. Maybe by 2020, Microsoft will have come out with an OS that doesn’t look or function anything like Windows 10. One can only hope.

      I save my photos in Windows Microsoft Picture Manager. I wonder if I can do the same thing you’re doing. I was told by some IT person, forgotten who now, that I would have to put Picture Manager onto whatever device I’m backing my photos up to, that you have to have the same program on both computers in order for the pictures to stay in their files and organized like I have them now.

      I have files within files so it’s rather involved, but I can find literally pictures in seconds on my computer. For example, if I am looking at a an older table setting post from back in 2009 on my blog, I can find the photos I used in that post in less than 10 seconds. I also love how easy it is to crop, name and resize photos in Picture Manager, much easier/faster to me than it is in Photoshop. But mainly I use Picture Manager for organization.

      The external hard drive I have and that I once attempted to back my photos up to is a Seagate, it’s just an external harddrive and it’s big, a terabyte, but it’s not a computer with an OS. I do have Picture Manager on both my laptop and desktop, not sure if I can put it on the Seagate but I don’t think so.

      • Margaret says

        If you put your pictures in folders, I know you can use Seagate – it’s what I use! I download my photos using Photoshop Elements (so I can choose the folder I have created under “My Pictures” on my computer and rename the pictures to the folder name upon downloading from my SD card – I don’t “store” pictures in Photoshop) – I do edit in Photoshop and I “used to” view and send photos using Microsoft Picture Manager (it’s not on Windows 10) – I do not have “programs” on the external hard drive – you should be able plug in the Seagate hard drive and then just left click on the folder on your computer and drag it to wherever you want it on Seagate (if you have Seagate opened in one window and My Computer opened in another window) or, you can just right click the folder on your computer and choose Send To Seagate – but then, you won’t be able to choose a folder ON Seagate (like if you have made different folders on Seagate e.g. Pictures, Documents, Music, etc.) — However, once the folder is in Seagate, you can drag and drop the folder within Seagate so your folders can be in subfolders. When you drag and drop between your computer and Seagate, a copy is put on the other drive
        According to what I read, Microsoft is only updating/supporting the security part of Windows 7 – “End of support (1/13/15) refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed (so you will still get the Security updates). Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates (till 1/14/2020) that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software…” – I feared not having full Microsoft support so I “took the bait” and got Windows 10 – Upgrading didn’t seem to work, but the new computer (just got it Sunday) that came with Windows 10 seems to be working fine

        • I’ll have to try that drag and drop method and see if it will work for me. This Seagate harddrive is several years old, so hopefully it will work. I’ll let you know what happens. It will be hard to keep up with what I’ve added to that drive and what I haven’t, I think since I add photos to my computer pretty much daily.

          That’s the reason I used Picture Manager, so I can put them in whatever folder I want. When I download photos from a memory card, it opens up in Picture Manager and then I name the folder what I wish and it places it right in Picture Manager where my other folders/photos are.
          I have Photoshop Elements, too…so not the really expensive version. Recently, another website asked to use a photo of mine and I agreed. When they posted it on their site, it was so much brighter and I loved how it looked. I asked how they did that and she said they used a filter called “reunion.” We can’t add filters to Photoshop Elements, right? It made me want to buy the pro version. I couldn’t get over how much brighter (without compromising the quality) the photo was.
          I know the guy from Microsoft did several updates on my computer after he removed the update with the windows 10 zombie code. I’m not sure if he installed or checked to make sure the Service Pack was installed. I guess I’ll have to call them to check that.
          In all the years I’ve had this computer, which is many, I’ve never once called Microsoft for help until this whole Windows 10 mess happened. Well, except the one time I couldn’t add Picture Manager but that was there fault because the code didn’t work from the box.
          I usually call the company that built the computer if I have any questions and take it to them…and it’s never a software issue. Usually it’s just a fan that needs to be replaced or something simple. So, I’m not too worried about lack of support from them, other than the security support.
          Glad you like your new computer. I love Windows 7 and plan to hold onto it as long as I can. 🙂

  25. Edith Bice says

    I have a PC desktop and a MAC laptop. I never have problems with my MAC and will probably switch to a MAC desktop when my PC goes out. I have windows 7 and have gotten the message to update to windows 10 but it doesn’t tell me I have to, it just invites me to try it. I did try it when it first came out but hated it so I reverted mine back to Windows 7. It worked fine and I didn’t lose anything. I am surprised they still have windows 10 since it is a terrible operating system.

  26. I am glad for you that this didn’t turn out any worse. This is exactly why I don’t use anything to do with Microsoft any longer. Once I converted to my IMac I was so happy I coudn’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner. I’ve heard of more than one person’s computer being updated with Windows 10 and no one seems happy about it. Gosh it would scare the heck out of me in the first place to let anyone have access to my computer via the Internet. I agree with you it’s an inside job. Too bad these smart computer geniuses don’t have anything better to do with their lives.

  27. I get the scammer calls all the time. What I do now is hit the answer button and keep the line open until they get frustrated and hang up. I don’t usually hear from that number again, but it continues with different numbers. You don’t have to call Microsoft to have this happen. If you go to Microsoft help on your computer it will happen. This is how it happened to me. Also, as far as windows 10 goes, I did not want it, so I have been ignoring the pop ups. Recently it came up and I hit the x to make the pop up go away, and low and behold it started down loading. Once that happened I did not know what to do, so I just went ahead and used 10. After about 2 weeks my pc went haywire. I would log in and without having my hands anywhere near the screen, it would change every second. It was insane. I just shut it down and called my computer repair guy. I told him I wanted my pc restored back to original status from the factory. I knew I would loose some things, but this is not my main computer so I did not care. He told me that Microsoft was so determined to have everyone upgrade to 10 that they changed it so if you clicked on the x to make it go away, it would start downloading. I hate Microsoft. I plan to spend the money and buy Apple before the end of the year. Anyway, there are all these virus’s attached to 10 and that is why everyone is going crazy. All of this was explained to me by my computer guy, who is great. He said from now until July 29, 10 is free, after that you have to pay to upgrade. Microsoft knows no one in their right mind is going to pay to upgrade so they are tricking people into upgrading. DON’T CLICK ON THE X, just ignore it. It is a pain because it blocks part of your screen, but eventually they just give up and stop. They did for me. Microsoft is not a nice company. Besides the fact they they are dishonest (Zuckerberg) I am furious that he is building a huge lava rock wall around his 600 acre compound in Hawaii, completely blocking the view of people around him, and blocking access to the public beach. Neighbors have appealed to him, but he does not care. I really hate paranoid rich people. They have no sense of propriety. He should have bought his own island instead of corrupting the one he is on. So fair warning, do not click on the x for windows 10. After July 29 it will stop. Sorry you had to go through all of this. You were lucky to get a good employee who could speak English clearly.

  28. Two things. I’m really sorry you were nearly scammed, but glad you weren’t. I know someone very close to me who was scammed by a MS imposter (though not related to the W10 conversion), and her life was similar to ID theft for several months after with bank accounts, credit cards, not to mention computer.
    The other thing is this: not upgrading in this timeframe means you will necessarily have to pay for the system update later and, as you know, W7 support will eventually become obsolete. 🙁 . PC Mag is a good source for reviewing tech needs, whether hardware, software/OS, firewalls, backups, password encryptions, etc. I’m sure you’ll get as many opinions on the W10 vs. W7 vs. MAC debate as the number of folks who comment here. I really like MS W10, but in my time (I was a doubter prior to its installation). My husband was an early converter last year, also used W8 prior to that (which was pretty much a zero in his opinion, and I never upgraded to it). I waited 6 mos, and after his opinion was positive on W10, I let him upgrade mine when I had time to mess with all my preferences (after 2015 tax prep, lol). Bottom line is, each person needs to be comfortable with their choices, and new choices may mean needing to learn new functionality. In one’s own time. 🙂

  29. Susan, glad your story had a happy ending. I too got the auto update for Windows 10, on my laptop where I still store all my photos for editing & keeping. I was SO mad when I realized the files were pretty much useless to me after that. They looked nothing like I was used to. I Googled & found out I could revert back to 7 & did just that! I was never so happen to have a program back. I then kept getting the notices & it was going to keep updating again as you noted. No choice to say NO! I went in & changed my updates to always ask & so far it hasn’t done the auto thing again, but I will be furious if it does. That’s a ridiculous practice of theirs that they need to stop! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Rhoda, I know what you mean, I was so happy when I was able to revert back to Windows 7 and my photos were back in their files again. I should probably go in and change the update permissions, too. I just don’t want to miss a security update. It really is ridiculous what they did and the backlash has been tremendous. They were even sued by one woman, and she won. Hopefully they will think twice about ever forcing an update on folks like this again.

  30. Brenda Lawrence says

    Thank you very much for the heads up Susan! I never answer numbers I don’t know either. If it is important they will leave a message is the way I look at it. And if that message doesn’t pertain to me in anyway, there won’t be a call back from me. “They” are getting so good at these scams anymore, it is so scary! One left a message saying we were getting sued and to call a number. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would be suing us but something just didn’t feel right. So I never called the number and we never got sued. You can never be to careful in this day and age!!

  31. Trudy Mintun says

    Thank you for your post. I shared it on FB and gave you the credit. I got a new computer at the same time Windows 10 came out. I don’t have a problem with it and like most of the features. However, an automatic update happened a few weeks ago that wiped out ALL of my photos. My DIL is hoping she will be able to retrieve them. I would have been furious if a windows 10 apocalypse had happened.

  32. Hi Susan, I have a program through [email protected] that monitors my computer and scans for malware and viruses every day or when I decide to run a scan. Several months back there was a problem and I also had to call and have them take over my computer and fix the problem. Well, long story short, someone called me the next day when we were walking out the door with basically same thing you said, I told them I would call them back later and hung up. The next day I called them back, they also told me that they do not call unless you are on a call with them and the phone disconnects. I told them what happened and they also said they had several calls about same thing, interesting isn’t it that we both had a similar experience. Take care and enjoy the Fourth!!!!! Vicki

  33. Susan, Thank you for this post. I also had the “update invitations” over and over, and I declined every time. Then I got the “update now or tonight” message which I closed, because I don’t think there was a way to say no. Lo and behold, the next morning my computer had Windows 10! I called my son, (my tech department) and he told me that’s what they use at work, so I figured I’d better just accept “progress”. Now I just want to know what gives Microsoft the right to break into my computer, without my permission, and make such major changes?! Furthermore, I did NOT call Microsoft about it, yet I received many calls from Bellingham, Washington, too, which I didn’t answer. Is it possible that it’s not the legitimate Microsoft that is installing this Windows 10 in the first place?! I wondered why they would give me something for free that I would have had to buy when it first came out? It doesn’t make sense-why would Microsoft care what system you were using? You paid them for it in the first place. I will be watching your comments section on this, and hoping somebody can figure it out. Thanks again for bringing this to light! Martha

  34. Hi Susan, just a note to let you know that I’ve enjoyed seeing all the new projects you’ve been doing on your beautiful home! Martha

  35. The whole “sneaky” way they have been pushing the Windows 10 upgrade has caused me to go to Apple. I just don’t understand why a reputable company feels they have to trick their customers into trying this upgrade. I agree with another commenter about Kim Komando being very helpful at keeping us informed of these scams. KK recommends using Carbonite to back up. It backs up a mirror image of your hard drive. I also use Dropbox to back up my photos.
    Thanks for the warning…it’s hard to keep up with all of the scams out there these days!

  36. We recently had a very close call with a scammer claiming to be Direct TV. The phone number that came up on our caller ID was the legit customer service number from Direct TV. The only reason my hubby answered the call was because he recognized the number. I don’t know how they hijack a company’s phone number like that. The only difference was that the company name did not appear on the caller ID, and when we deal with Direct TV their name AND number always appear. There are some awful people out there…

  37. Thanks Susan . They got mine and I don’t know my password so that I can change it back . Guess it is back to the computer store $$$$ . I cannot believe it is legal to do this . My son’s new computer was changed he was able to change it back. Thank you for this helpful information.

  38. Carol Gillespie says

    The same thing happened to me just last week. My computer was changed from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without my consent. I can’t remember exactly how I changed it back, but luckily I did and didn’t lose any pictures or information. I also get calls frequently from someone claiming to be calling about my computer. I started telling them that I don’t have a computer so they eventually stopped calling. I am on the do not call list but it seems like it no longer blocks as well as it once did.

  39. I am familiar with all of these scams . . . and in response to Bobbie’s earlier post, I did blow a whistle in the “fake” IRS Agent’s ear . . . a couple of times! I haven’t heard back from them recently (fingers crossed) but I did get some satisfaction from doing this. With regards to all the computer problems, I have a local “IT” gal who provides computer tech support to many businesses and individuals in our area. She is reasonably priced and worth her weight in gold because she is familiar with and takes care of these problems on a daily basis. And she’s just a phone call away. Our family business is all on the computer and even though I can take care of many problems myself, having her help definitely gives me peace of mind.

  40. A HUGE thank you from Bend! Happy 4th ~~~

  41. Shirley Clark says

    First, you can put your number on the DoNotCall page, but there is a link to report scam numbers. I do it all of the time, and it has helped.
    I bought a new computer last summer which is 8.1. I really like it as it’s much like W7 which I loved. However, I’m indicisive about W10 working with my embroidery program and files. I sure don’t want to lose that even though I back them up, it’s just a hassle to have to reload all of that period!
    What we can’t figure out is how the scammers can call us using our own house phone number, and then it one of those places that say your credit card interest rates can be lowered!! That is so aggravating!
    The other day one called, and the caller ID said it was State Farm so I answered only to hear a recording about credit card interest. Insane! We are constantly at risk for all kinds of fraud. We try to alert our elderly friends about listening to those phone calls wanting donations.

    • You can do that, but the scammers don’t care if you are on the DNC registry. They use Caller ID spoofing which is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call, that the originator of the call is a station other than the true originating station. In other words the numbers that appear on your phone are not the real originating numbers. You can block that number and report it to DNC but they can’t find the real callers because the numbers are not the real numbers. If you try to call the number back, you will get a fast busy signal or a not in service announcement.

  42. What a nightmare for you Susan and one that could easily be suffered by any one of us. My Windows 10 story is this: last September my husband bought me a new laptop for my birthday….my old laptop had Windows 7 and I wanted to keep that but the new laptop came with 10 and I had been told that while it was a little “different” from 7 I would get used to it and like it. Long story short, I hated 10 but had no option but to keep it. I had to take my “new” computer to an expert two times w/in a month of buying it…..also got all my photos transferred to the new one at an additional cost. I don’t want to go into all the problems I had but I finally dug out my mom’s old laptop and now use it, it has 7 on it but every day all day long I get these pop ups about converting to 10 which I just exit out of but now I’m afraid something like what happened to you will happen to me and 10 will automatically load onto this computer. I think I broke my “new” computer a few weeks ago trying to log in and having the same problems, I slammed down the lid so forcefully it won’t boot up now. (I haven’t told my husband that – LOL). Anyway, you have given me a lot to ponder and will go back and read all the comments for any other suggestions. Would you consider giving a blog post listing some of the ways we can use backup systems such as the ones you utilize for yourself? Of course, not giving out any sensitive information but I’m ignorant about all of that, unfortunately. Oh, I also keep getting phone calls daily from some Washington #, but never answer those, in fact I don’t answer any calls from any number I don’t recognize.

    These scammers are getting smarter and more low down every single day and it’s frightening for all of us. I don’t know how all of this will end, probably not for the good for sure.

    Scary stuff!

  43. So sorry you had to go through this. I’ve learned that when I answer the phone and hear a foreign voice saying they are calling about my computer, Microsoft, etc., I hang up. That’s a scam, too. My elderly cousin talked many hours to one of these people trying to get help with her computer then got a bill for several hundred dollars, which she did not pay of course. I get one of those calls at least once per week.

  44. I get calls all the time from a foreign speaking person claiming to be with Microsoft, telling me there is a problem with my computer. When I start ranting and raving they always hang up. lol

  45. Thanks for sharing this. I had a lot of trouble when I converted to Windows 10 but now it is working fine and I love it. I do recall receiving a call from Microsoft after I had them back up my files and re-download Windows 10. When they did, they messed up some of my files and cleared all of my data from Chrome and put all of my “raw” photos into little files that were practically useless. That infuriated me so badly that and when “Microsoft” called back, I did the exact same thing you did. I let them have it with both barrels. I remember now that they asked if they could check on the problem and see if they could correct my files. I said they had done quite enough and I wished I had never downloaded it and they said they could go in and revert and I said, you don’t understand. I don’t trust Microsoft to not mess up things more than they are. I am done with you and your technical support. Slam! I never heard from them again or if I did, I didn’t answer, so I guess they gave up on me. Thankful now that I was so angry. My husband and I both really like Windows 10 but I would have gone ballistic if they had automatically updated our computers to that version. As a matter of fact, I have a laptop that still has Windows 7 and I found out that one of the updates Microsoft would be sending was a conversion to Windows 10 so I turned off the automatic update option on that computer. It is easy to do and then you go can just go to Microsoft.com and review any updates you might need to download. They are going to quit maintaining the older versions except for security updates, so I doubt there will be many to manually download. I have a desktop that I still run with Windows XP which I actually hate, but I have some software and a scanner that won’t run on anything after XP so I keep it for that reason. I stopped the automatic updates on that too because I almost never get online with that computer and if I did, it would have a gazillion updates to run. Sorry for hogging the comments but I got wound up again after reading what you went through. Ha!

  46. Heather Snively says

    Hoping I have not committed a foul by reposting this on my Facebook page? If inappropriate I will remove it with apologies. If fine, Thank You very much!
    Your info is extremely valuable. My thousands of pictures mean a great deal to me and found your Windows 10 experience particularly valuable. I have backed them up as a result. If I am out of line in posting this please let me know. I do want to mention in months past I have received (without ever having called Microsoft myself) several calls claiming to be Microsoft and ready to “help me on the problem with my computer.” I have hung up directly. The accent each time has been from India and twice I could hear many voices in the background likely all doing the same kind of calls. Thank you so much for this post!

  47. Also, as far as who gives Microsoft the right to break into your computer, the short answer is we do, when we accept “automatic updating.” They cannot automatically install updates unless you allow it. You can disallow it by going to your system settings and changing them to stop automatic updates.

  48. KathleenfromCA says
  49. Margaret du Preez says

    I have had the calls from a Chinese person telling me that I have a problem with my computer , this was before the Windows 10 update, in fact about a year before, and in the end my husband swore at them and the calls stopped. A friend started getting them about a month ago and also had to be rude to get them to stop. Love Windows 10 but they do push it which is annoying. Good for you fornotfallinf for the scam.

  50. Jennifer says

    Good Afternoon Susan! I am so sorry that this happened to you, but so happy that you were unharmed! Several years ago an older lady from church had told me about this scam, it has been around for a long time. Not long after that I was on the phone with my sister (she was at home but using her cell phone) and her home phone rang and her husband picked it up. He was about to fall for it because he though it was a legit tech call, my sister told me what was going on and thankfully I was able to tell her to tell her about the scam! They were so upset and relieved. It makes me sick that there are people out there that devise these sorts of things 🙁

    Here is the funny part, we can easily recognize when we are getting one of these phone calls now. I hand the phone to my teenage son and he gives the guy on the other line a run for his money! He pretends to type and follow the instructions, trying to keep them on the phone for as long as possible. eventually they get mad and hang up! For a good laugh you should check out some of the youtube videos that people have made while they are dealing with the scammers.

  51. Hi, I love your blog and your favorite things lists! BTW, I too have gotten many calls from Microsoft asking about our “so called problem” on our computer. We haven’t used our windows computer in about nine years. We (my husband and grown kids) and myself all have Macs. Yet they call every week! My husband has blocked their phone number. Good Luck to you and great how aware you are! P.S. I’m going on a trip to the UK next spring and purchased the same rolling bag and water proof boots you recommended!

    • Thanks so much, Deborah and congrats on your upcoming trip! I’m already itching to go somewhere again. I have the travel bug bad and there doesn’t seem to be a cure! 🙂 I love that rolling bag and get so many compliments on it when I fly. Even total strangers in lines at the airport comment on how much they like it. It’s just so darn cute! It fits great in the overhead bin, too.
      The boots are awesome! I have them in two colors and ordered another pair of black ones for when my first pair wears out. I was afraid they wouldn’t still be available and they are so comfortable for walking.

  52. Cyndi Raines says

    Wow Susan -This is CRAZY!!! Thank you for sharing your experience. I am still getting used to windows 10 and really didn’t want it, but became so tired of the constant pop up telling me to install, and I too felt like the lady above that I had to keep up with progress, that I did install it. So glad my pictures are all in their folders. So far no real issues and actually, I think my computer runs better. I still haven’t figured out how to transfer my pictures from my tablet, (could do it easily before) so I need to get my techy friend to come over and show me. ha. We never answer any numbers we don’t recognize. Thank you for sharing this good information. Hope you have a great 4th!

  53. Susan in Northern Michigan says

    I had a call from a person with a very heavy accent telling me they needed to fix my computer immediately. When I asked where he was calling from, he answered Microsoft. I said “no you’re not” and he insisted he was and the fix was urgent. I said “no you’re not” again. He didn’t know what to do so he passed the phone to his “supervisor” a heavily accented woman. She confirmed it was Microsoft calling and the fix needed to be done on all my computers, laptops, etc. immediately. I told her they were not calling from Microsoft and hung up the phone. I don’t usually answer unknown numbers or be this flip, but this call looked legitimate and I was annoyed. I’ve never called their techs or customer service. Too pushy with “urgent” and “immediate” for the scam to work.

  54. Catalynn says

    So glad you got it all straightened out Susan.

    I had the exact same thing happen with the Windows 10 update doing it all by itself after I’d repeatedly clicked it off etc. (probably a dozen or more times over a period of about 2 weeks!)
    I was in the kitchen, had been on my computer earlier that morning and just left it on, logged in, speakers turned up etc.
    Suddenly I heard it firing up in the other room like it does after a reboot and wondered what was going on, I walked in the room and there it was all finished installing Windows 10 and rebooting itself, all my files were crazy, couldn’t find anything.. I was SOOOO MAD!
    It just happened that our son was dropping in for lunch that day and a few years back he took the classes to become a Microsoft certified systems engineer even though that’s not his profession (he just wanted to be able to do all his own computer stuff) so he was able to quickly go in and fix it all for me and return everything to Windows 8 which is what I run.
    What a relief!

    The funny thing is… after he’d completed those classes and got his certification he went and bought himself a MAC because he now understood just how vulnerable Windows operating systems are and how much better MAC is.
    He’s constantly telling us to switch to MAC.
    So far we haven’t because I hate the thought of learning a new system etc… but if Microsoft does stuff like this Windows 10 update again I might have to give it serious consideration.

  55. bobbi duncan says

    You go, girl! It just sickens me that we have to put up with the stress others purposefully inflict on our lives. In many ways, I wish I never got used to the conveniences of modern life. So much great info. from all your readers–I’m saving this post, just incase. Like you, I go to great lengths NOT to have problems, but these hackers seem to figure out ways to thwart our best efforts…just infuriates me to no end that there are so many corrupt people in this world when all I wish to do is live peacefully. I got the IRS call on my cell saying they were taking me to court. Since I pay my taxes, I knew it was a scam and never returned the call…plus, when does the IRS call anyone, especially with a difficult to decipher accent and poor grammar? Geez! Sorry you had to go through that. However, it made for a very enlightening post whereby you are saving others from similar issues, so thank you very much for taking the time to explain your situation. Hugs!

  56. Shelley Ash says

    I almost fell for the same scam. I received a call within days of purchasing a new computer. The only thing that tipped me off was he was so vague about describing things, never specifying what brand my computer was, etc. I finally just hung up on him. It makes you wonder if there’s an inside job going on with these since they seem to have enough information to make the calls seem plausible. So frustrating. I too recently started using Nomorobo. We just use the free version for the home as we use Verizon as well. It’s AMAZING how well it works.

    • I don’t have a home phone, just my cell. Wish it worked with Verizon! Glad you didn’t fall for it, Shelley. I’m just going to go back to never answering any number I don’t know. I should have know that was a bad number/call because all the other times they had called earlier in the week, they never left a message. That’s always the biggest clue that it’s a scammer because real companies would leave a message if you didn’t answer.

  57. Windows 10 automatically installed on my computer also. Things were fine for a bit, but then they went haywire. My computer tech came and updated everything. He said part of the problem was that the Intel company’s core processor system and Windows 10 operating system were not compatible in many areas. He said that new computers bought with Windows 10 already installed should work fine since Intel has had time to update their system to work with Windows 10.

    Also for the unknown number robo call aggravation. Just lift the receiver and hang it back up. After the 3rd or 4th time the robo call is not answered, the computer will automatically kick the number out as a nonworking number. Time is money to them and they don’t want to waste time calling a nonworking number. You just have to hang up before the answering machine picks up so they don’t get a voice signal. It took a while, but my home is peaceful again.

    Susan, I am so sorry this happened to you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  58. THANK YOU!! Our local news needs to do a segment on this

  59. Charlotte says

    Boy, you came CLOSE!! You know what I think? I think that maybe the guy who fixed your computer from Microsoft might be informing someone…hey, it sounds like an inside job. Because, I mean, ya know, like (had to type that! lol), he knew what was happening in detail, so he could easily have passed it on to someone else, and then get a cut when thievery takes place. Hey, it’s a thought!
    A friend of mine was entering the PCH lotteries, and started getting these calls that she’d won a lot of money. CLUE: PCH NEVER calls when you’ve when. Nope-they just show up at your door. WELLL, it ended up she lost $6,000!!! because this place in JAMAICA was calling and saying it was PCH, and they said she had to give them her bank acct info (!) so they could put money in it. Yes, she fell for it, hook, line and sinker. She had to have everything changed at her bank, and no, she wasn’t able to recoup the money. Sickening isn’t it. AND, she kept get calls from that *!?%# place!! After several months, they stopped.
    Glad you got saved by your common sense kicking in. Whew!

  60. So glad you got it sorted out. What a time-consuming nightmare!
    Learning from your experience, I want that Windows 10 offer removed from my computer. Didn’t know you could call Microsoft and they would log on and do it. Thanks for the tip. I really like my Windows 7 too and don’t want to change for all the same reasons you mentioned.
    Glad once it was resolved, you could see the humor in it. You must be so relieved you didn’t get suckered!
    I have an android phone and use an app called “calls blacklist” when I get those automated calls with someone that sounds like a real person. Geez..how many times do I have to listen to that polite voice say, “I couldn’t hear you, let’s try again.”
    The app is effective and easy.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Teresa! I’ll definitely check that app out. I don’t seem to get as many as I was getting but I would love to stop them all together.

  61. Suzy McClung says

    After years of dealing with Microsoft and an auto update to Windows 10 which I could not operate on my best day, I went to a MacBook Air and I am in heaven. I could not be happier. There IS a learning curve, but it is not bad at all.

  62. nanc harris says

    I’ve heard about numerous nightmares about Windows 10 so I thought I would share what my husband located and hope it will help others.

    I have not read through all of your replies but if this hasn’t already been suggested above than please read.

    Watch and listen as this does work but you do need to watch both for the full story.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXTWCqTRIag

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY_FWpr8BX8

    • Thanks for those links! The first one really sums this whole mess up well. It will be interesting to see if there’s going to be a class action law suit against Microsoft for what they did.

      • GOOD for you. BAD for my friend. She got the same scammer call but she gave them her credit card # she gave them her Social Security #. They told her they needed her credit card to charge the service that would change her computer screen back to normal.
        OK we all know not to give out this information but she is 83 yrs old and she was confused and frustrated and just wanted her computer changed back. She thought she was talking to the REAL Microsoft.
        Her son spent the week canceling her credit card, changing passwords, calling banks, and walking her through Life Lock etc. Because her computer was 10 years old he bought her a new computer (ugh, he bought a Dell wish he’d bought an Apple). Anyway her family is very concerned about what the Scammers might do, now that they have her information.

  63. Fake “Microsoft” scammers have called our home a number of times in the past, saying that they are calling because they detected a problem with our computer.

    I know full well that, not only would MS not call, but they don’t have our phone number associated with any of their products on our computers.

    I give the pathetic Lying, Liars Who Lie and earful before they hang up.

    I was able to avoid not only the automatic installation of Windows 10, but also the nag screens, because I have Windows Update set to not update automatically, and I know what updates to avoid.

    I have been unchecking and hiding the following updates, most of which have made repeat appearances, to prevent them from installing:

    KB3035583
    KB2952664
    KB3112343
    KB2990214
    KB3021917
    KB3022345
    KB306878
    KB3022345
    KB3075249
    KB3080149

    The scammers that called the post author, saying that they were following up, wouldn’t necessarily have gotten her number from MS. They were more likely just taking a chance that they would get someone to bite, thinking it sounded more legit, or hoping the person who answered would assume another household member had a ticket and therefore go along with the requests.

    I don’t blame MS for these scammers, and I personally would never switch to a Mac. My mother has one, and I hate it more than I can ever say. It is beyond annoying in so many ways. I would switch to Linux or Ubuntu before I would ever buy an overpriced Mac.

    On the other hand… Microsoft is way out of line pushing Windows 10. I hate that every few years they have to keep changing everything by pushing a whole different operating system. I don’t want to waste countless hours learning the ins and outs of Windows 10, when I am very happy with Windows 7, thank you very much.

    Couldn’t they just work on enhancing security for W7 and be satisfied with the sales they get from being the most popular operating system by far… instead of always pushing a whole new system? Too many OS development people trying to justify their salaries?

    • Marie, I second everything you’ve said, I so agree! I know occasionally some things have to change but it’s ridiculous how often they keep changing and then killing support for programs that they introduce and we use and enjoy. I use Windows Picture Manager a lot and they have discontinued it now, plus they changed a key feature of it a while back (before they disc offering it with windows) that changed how it functioned. It just shows that their main concern is THEIR needs and desires and not that of their customers. They don’t seem to care at all what we want or how the changes and updates they force on us effect the way we work. It’s the old saying, “Follow the money.” They want to push that stock up and are always going for more $$$ and the only way they can do that is to shove new products on us whether we want them or not.
      Yeah, I really dislike the OS on my iPad so I know I would never be happy with an Apple computer. I much prefer Windows, just so disappointed with how thoughtless and uncaring they are about their customer’s needs and wishes.

  64. Yes, Susan – that’s like Windows 8 being designed for touch screen mobile devices and MS expecting desktop users to upgrade to it. They didn’t care at all that it’s ridiculous to expect desktop users with a mouse and keyboard to embrace an operating system designed for a touch screen.

    Nice site, by the way. I’m not even sure how I wandered over here… but I think I’ll stay a bit. I love house tours. 😀

    • Exactly! You have to wonder where they get these ridiculous ideas, they definitely aren’t talking to their customers and asking what they want or need.
      Thanks, Marie!

  65. Dear Susan,

    Go MAC. I had to use Microsoft as an engineering technical writer and then decided to liberate myself from the over-controlling (typical of Bill Gates) nature of Microsoft. Two years later, I am happy every day with my MacBook Pro.

    • I just don’t like Apple’s OS which is the reason I have an Android phone. I really dislike the OS on my iPad, hate how restrictive it is and the way you have to move through the menus. Drives me nuts! When I discovered that Apple uses the same OS on the iPhone, I knew I’d never have an iPhone. I love my Samsung Galaxy Edge 6+, though. Does the MAC use the same OS as the iPad and iPhone?

    • I once read an article that said the reason you don’t hear about Apple computers getting attacked as much is the bad guys target Windows because there are so many more Windows based systems being used. When they write a virus, they want to target the largest number of computers that they can. I looked that up recently and here’s a chart showing the percentage users for each operating system.

      Chart

      I found the chart here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems

      I guess if Apple computers ever become as popular as Windows based systems, you’ll see the scammers and bad guys going after their OS a lot more.

  66. Yes, that is definitely the case. Virus writers go after the operating system that has the most users. It’s just so much effective for them. Especially back when barely anyone was using Macs… why would they bother going after such a tiny percentage of the market?

    I had to laugh when Debra called Microsoft controlling. In my opinion, Apple is in a league of its own with controlling EVERYTHING. I absolutely hate how restrictive everything is. It drives me crazy when I have to help my mom with problems on her Mac. The most basic functions are restricted on the iOS. No thank you! I prefer to have control over my computer and operating system. I would never buy any iJunk for the same reason.

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