Beware PayPal Hacker Scams!
Thou Shalt Not Steal! I find it very interesting that last week, the week of the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot... (a holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai as well as the grain harvest for the summer... a holiday when Jews specifically go to synagogue to listen to a reading of the Ten Commandments)... My good friend's computer gets hacked by a paypal scam company attempting to steal all of his paypal funds! Were the hackers not aware that they were attempting to violate Commandment Number 8... "Thou Shalt Not Steal" on the holy week of Shavuot! Perhaps that could be one of the very reasons they failed at all their brash attempts to steal his funds? While I was reading and studying the Torah and lighting candles and praying... my good friend was battling fake paypal hackers! So how did this all seem to transpire?
My friend was experiencing difficulties withdrawing money from paypal, so in haste he looked up paypal support on google and found a phone number: 405-719-2727. My friend called this number and a man with an Indian accent picked up the phone and said something like "Paypal Support, How may I help you?" My friend explained that he was experiencing difficulties withdrawing money from his business paypal account. The so-called paypal representative that he was speaking with immediately told my friend that his paypal account had been hacked. Now what's interesting is that the paypal rep never asked for my friend's name, username or last 4 digits of his social security number. So that was already a sign that something was wrong! But my friend was impatient and the imposter paypal rep sounded so real!
The paypal rep gave my friend a website to type into his computer: pplhelp.site The pplhelp site is a page that has the paypal logo right in the middle of the page. Very tricky! It looks kind of legit! As my friend was typing in the web address, the fake rep asked him how his day was going to keep his mind distracted from the fraud that was taking place. Then the rep asked my friend what he saw. My friend told the rep that the site was asking him for a verification code. The rep gave him the code: 50839 to type in. My friend typed in the code and then got sent over to a google store to install a program called ConnectWise Control. My friend proceeded to install the program. Thus the beginning of the chaos! A blue screen appeared that said "Don't Turn Your Computer Off- Rebooting." Then my friend saw an arrow moving around the screen. My friend basically just gave consent for the hackers to remotely control his computer. At that point the hackers were on his computer looking through all his accounts...paypal, bank accounts, etc. They had him log into all his bank accounts and his paypal account so that they could have his passwords and be able to log into his accounts by themselves....and hopefully steal some serious money! Oy!
After running the ConnectWise Control program my friend actually spoke to the same supposed paypal rep several more times on the phone. The paypal rep called him and my friend called the paypal rep...and it was always the same man with the Indian accent on the phone with my friend! Another sign that something was amiss! Usually when you call paypal you speak to a different rep every time you call. Also, paypal doesn't usually call the customer! The customer has to call paypal.
So finally my friend woke up from his delusion and realized that something was wrong! He found the real paypal phone number on the actual paypal site and called it. The real paypal told my friend that he had been hacked! Oy! They told him that he either had to change his IP address, get a new computer or find a way to remove the hacker! My friend opted for the last and most complicated option. So that's when his search began to figure out how to remove the hacker... Except there was one serious problem... My friend woke up one morning, turned on his computer and found that the blue screen was on.... Just like the last time it said "Don't Turn Your Computer Off- Rebooting". The hackers had been trying to call him but he wasn't picking up his phone, so due to their impatience they just decided to go onto his computer since they still had access. So my friend turned off his computer which stopped the process... Then he turned it right back on but about 5 minutes later the blue screen appeared again. At that point he turned off his computer and turned off the internet as well. The he went onto his phone and typed in "how to remove hackers from your computer." A program called Aura popped up that said it gets rid of remote hackers, spyware, etc. My friend shared the program with his email on his phone. Then he quickly turned his computer back on, got onto his email and signed up for a 14 day free trial of Aura. He then pressed scan and remove. After that process the blue screen no longer appeared. The hackers were gone? Well...not quite! Unfortunately Aura didn't work!
So my friend found two more videos that explained how to remove hackers. He tried one of the ways that were explained in the video but that didn't work. What DID work is this... My friend pressed on "start" and then pressed on "administrative tools" in the search bar and then pressed "enter". He saw a list of programs. He went to "services" and he closed "administrative tools." He scrolled down in services to the s's and found "Screen Connect Client." He right clicked on it. The he looked for the word "automatic." He pressed that button and put disabled. Then he pressed "apply" and then he pressed "ok". He said it was important to press "apply" first or it wouldn't work. He said if you go back it may say that it's still running. If that's the case then go up to the top left corner and press "stop." Then the program will definitely be disabled.
This whole time the fake paypal scammers were trying to steal the balance from my friend's paypal account. However, thankfully, the real paypal was reviewing my friend's account and no transactions could be made for days!...otherwise the hackers could have easily logged in and stole the paypal balance. The hackers knew this and were waiting patiently to make their move. Unfortunately for them, when their program was disabled, they no longer had access to my friend's computer. Still to be extra safe... my friend locked his paypal account and changed the password. He also changed the passwords for his bank accounts, which thankfully the hackers were unable to hack due to extra security!
In the end, after my friend had completely disabled the hackers, fake paypal (the hackers) called my friend. My friend decided to pick up the phone to see what they would say. They immediately threatened him and said that if he didn't give them money they would mess up his computer. My friend calmly said that he didn't care. Then the hackers said that they had naked pictures of him that they found on his computer. My friend hung up the phone, blocked the hackers and reported them to the FBI!
After the whole situation settled down my friend did some research and discovered that ConnectWise Control is actually a real program that people use to get professional help for their computer issues. The program allows remote viewing of their computer so specialists can see what's going on without having to visit the customer in person. The problem is that hackers/ scammers are also using this program to access people's computers and to steal from them (and perhaps threaten, blackmail and extort then as well) ! Here is a video that my friend found that shows how people can misuse Connectwise Control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDxA_M5_xQw
It's important to note: When calling the real authentic paypal there will be a recording stating that they recognize (or don't recognize) the number you are calling from. If they recognize the number then the recording will state your name. Then they will ask you to verify the last 4 digits of your social security number before connecting you to a representative. So when dealing with paypal (or anything online for that matter) be cautious, don't rush and don't get caught up in the Connectwise Control Paypal Hacker Scam! Now you know! Stay alert my friends!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!