image credit: digitaltrends.com

image credit: digitaltrends.com

Exactly five minutes ago, I sat across the dining table from my brother and opened my laptop. We are both studying for exams, so coffee is flowing, laptops are open, and gossip is minimised. As I opened my MacBook, he called me ‘a learner’. I know that may sound like him making it obvious that I still have no clue how to use my laptop despite being in ownership of it for over six months. However, I know differently, because as he burst out laughing, I realised he was talking about the time I was scammed like a learner in 2015. 

It was a Monday, and I had the day off work, I was in bed, watching YouTube videos as you do, when a pop-up message appeared in my browser advising me that my firewall was down, and I needed to contact Apple. The message provided me with a telephone number and a reference code, what did I do? Yep! I called them; which made that the official foolish moment of 2015. Once I called, I was put through to a technician who advised me that he needed remote access to my laptop which I gave him, he explained Apple outsourced work to them. Don’t judge me, I had problems with a previous Dell laptop that was solved this way officially. The technician went on to advise me that seeing as I participated in a lot of online shopping and online banking, I was at increased risk and needed high-level spyware installed to get my firewall back up. He said that if I did not proceed my laptop would be dead and useless within three hours.

Herein lies the catch, I needed to pay £160 to receive this elite help. I was about to pay when something said to me; “you can buy a brand new laptop for that amount of money.” Seeing as I had been struggling with comprehending the complexity of Mac, this thought pleased me, and so I put the tech guy on hold and called my baby brother. Who laughed and laughed, did I mention that he laughed. He said to turn off my wi-fi, turn off my laptop and cut the call. They were scammers. I told him there were not, as at some point during the conversation they had shown me their website. But I listened to reason, and six days later I took my laptop to the Apple store where instead of laughing at me, the Apple guys looked at me with sympathy and shock. My firewall was restored, and they screened my laptop for any bugs left behind following  my August encounter. They then advised me not to be so gullible in the future.

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Lessons learned;
1. Don’t be foolish
2. Don’t tell too many people when you have been foolish; I told an acquaintance this story, and he laughed so much more than my brother did, I wanted to bury my head like the ‘foolish Ostrich.’
3. If you feel something it wrong, it probably is
4. Never rush into anything.
5. If it’s ‘supposedly’ an Apple problem, ask Apple first

The end. Dami refuses to be scammed again.