Home Misc Stay safe and warm … (not beauty related)

Stay safe and warm … (not beauty related)

by Sonia G.

I am not working this week, I needed some time to relax, Β to help with the ongoing and dusty house renovation and eventually if time permits experiment with new beauty products, so here I am, safe and warm, at home.

I am having fun, so far I could test a few new products that you’ll shortly see in my upcoming reviews. I was really hoping to benefit from better weather forecast this week, it’s extremely humid, foggy, snowy-sleety, the trees are covered with a white fog iced coat and believe me outside you feel your bones shivering with cold.

This is a view from the balcony upstairs, we had 6 days of thick freezing fog at 1170 meters… more than 6 months of winter weather, I am sick and tired of it…

winter

Today I experienced a weird unsafe situation while warmly installed at home in a very safe Country. I thought maybe I should to share with you, I know it’s not a beauty related post but I’ll try to be brief and informative. We never know, it may help somebody.

This morning, our house phone rang, my boyfriend picked up the phone and here is the extract that my bf posted on Google+ (for his friends) :

Here’s how it goes:
I received a phone call on my home number 10 minutes ago from an american number claiming to be from “Microsoft Technical Support” Here is the transcript:
FMS= Fake Microsoft Customer Support

FMS: Hello, is this Mr.G ?
Me: I am
FMS: This is xxxx from Microsoft customer support. I am calling you since we’ve been receiving error reports from your PC – You know microsoft receives error reports when things go wrong with your PC
Me: Hmmmm yes? (okay this is beginning to sound fishy)
FMS: We believe your computer is affected by a virus
Me: (Okay, I’ll bite to see where this is going) Which PC would that be?
FMS: Your PC
Me: Which one?
FMS: Your windows pc
Me: Yes, which one? I have several. Do you have the host name?
FMS: Are they all behind the same router
Me: (no harm in answering this one) Yes
FMS: Then they could all be infected
Me: Okay, which virus is this?
FMS: A Trojan
Me: Which Trojan
FMS: A Trojan, it’s a type of virus.
Me: I know, which trojan is it though?, there are many…
FMS: Are you IT litterate?
Me: Yes, Very
FMS: I think you pretend to know a lot but you know very little about IT
Me: I work in IT
FMS: Hangs up

Now, I know it’s not a good idea to give too much info to scammers, but in this case I wanted to see where they were going so I only gave out a minimum, and nothing that couldn’t easily have been looked up. I also wanted to see if they gave me any clues as to where they got my home telephone number from (appart from a random search in the telephone book), but no luck on that front.
Caller ID numbers can easily be faked and in this case it sounded like it was coming through some very poor quality IP Phone.

After reading up on this scam, it seems to have been going on since at least 2010 in many countries. The usual tactic is to (either or several of the following):
– Get you to give them remote access to your machine
– Get you to install malware
– Get your Credit card details to confirm
– Access a website infected with malware

As a reminder, here are Microsoft’s guidelines on how they may contact you (or won’t):
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/securitytipstalk/archive/2010/03/09/don-t-fall-for-phony-phone-tech-support.aspx

Stay safe πŸ˜‰

WTH ??? just be careful with this kind of intrusions, they can take you by surprise, never give them any details, never allow them to take control of your computer, never ever give them your credit card or bank details.

I believe in some countries there are special forces dealing with this kind of security intrusions, here we don’t, we are supposed to report them to the local police. Β If they started to do this scam 3 years ago, it proves that it must work otherwise they would have stopped it by now.

A few minutes before that phonecall, we had a cute little spy at the door… πŸ™‚Β The pic is blurry because I did not want to scare him :

squirrel

We have actually quite a lot of wild life going on in our garden, deers, squirrels, martens, foxes, Β just to mention a few, and eventually also our little dog happily playing after her fantastic recovery :

tess

I also want to share our last purchase “security AND beauty related”, it’s a …. fire blanket !!! Why ? because I am a danger near fire… when I am depotting my eyeshadows there is alcohol and candles around and one day the bottle fell into the candle, true story, fire caught on the 500ml bottle, I was alone, I grabbed the burning bottle with my bare hands and put it inside the sink, then I used cotton towels to control the fire but believe me it was scary and it hurt ! Now I have learned my lesson and have this fire blanket near me :

fireblanket

Easy to use, you pull down the straps, wrap your hands around the corners to protect your hands and cover the fire with the blanket.

So… beware fake emails and fake phonecalls and be ready to react to unfortunate depotting incidents πŸ˜‰

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29 comments

MBOF 27 March, 2013 - 2:53 pm

Sorry you are having this freezing cold weather there. We are too here in England. It has to stop ! lol.
The scam is a well known one that has been doing the rounds for years. My sister in Ireland had one of these phone calls about 2 years ago saying they were Microsoft staff and as she didn’t know offhand her passwords that they asked for they said they would call back the next day. Luckily by the next day she had told me about it and I warned her off of speaking with the scammers. They were guys with Indian/Pakistani type accents.
My sister would not have known anything and she believed them when they told her that she had a problems with her computer. She can barely use a browser.
Great that you posted this to warn others.

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:02 pm

oh I heard about England, I watch BBC a little every evening, gosh this weather has to stop !!
I am happy your sister managed to avoid problems, I just couldn’t believe it this morning ! these scams have to stop too !!!
I hope we will soon see the sun πŸ™‚

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Mimi 27 March, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Here in the USA, it’s common to have your email hacked. It’s happened to 3 of my friends. It’s sad that we have to have our guard up all the time. Your boyfriend did very well and was smart to be suspicious right off the bat.

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:02 pm

gosh Mimi, we need to be aware of that danger every single day πŸ™

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Kay Lee 27 March, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Oh my, I find scams really scary. And even scarier when they happen to people I know. Thanks for sharing this on your blog. I’m glad that there was no harm (from the scam) and your boyfriend dealed with the scammer really well. I hope your hands healed back from the fire incident! Thanks for the warnings! Knowing me, I need them!

PS the phone number could have been taken off the internet. Try doing a search for yourself. It’s scary how much comes up!

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:05 pm

I am glad too, it’s a pain to have to deal with such intrusions πŸ™
yes they healed quickly thank you πŸ™‚ I was very very lucky !!! accidents sometimes are so incredibly silly !!!

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Sylvia 27 March, 2013 - 5:57 pm

Uf, that’s a common scam and it started some time back.
It’s always creept, though.

I loved the photos1
Here we have rain, rain, rain. It’s been the rainiest March in the last 100 years.

Great advice about the fire blanket, Sonia. I’m going to buy one. You just never know, do you?

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Mimi 27 March, 2013 - 6:26 pm

Where would a person get a fire blanket? Glad you dog is well now, such a relief to have a healthy pet again.

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:09 pm

she is great thanks πŸ™‚
you can get a fire blanket at any Do it yourself shop apparently…

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:09 pm

my parents live in Spain and they also have enough of the rain !!
you never know Sylvia, it’s the second time I have to deal with fire at home, but the first time it wasn’t my fault πŸ˜› phewww ! the kitchen burnt completely and I had to deal with it with what I had around me, just a few kitchen towels, we have just a sec to make the right decisions so now I prefer to be ready !

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midnitedesire 27 March, 2013 - 7:09 pm

Oh, so beautiful!! It’s been foggy here for the last 2 days straight.:(

Your bf, he’s a very patient guy, Sonia gives him a thumbs-up πŸ™‚

i just had the same, called me from 0445811430 (39 times in 5 days…lol) ,0554406003 and sometime its different number. I have reported it but Swisscom says “they can’t do anything about .”
it’s a marketing calls ,very annoying and call almost daily

FIRE! as,I don’t trust myself with fire,I’ve depotted my eyeshadows using a flat iron but still i alway get burned by an oven/stove

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 9:12 pm

He is patient (I am not) he was actually very curious to know more about their scam but they hang up πŸ˜›
Hmmm you know, I think I had the same missed calls over and over again !!!
yes a flat iron is much more safe !! but as I said, I am not patient πŸ˜›
keep your fingers away from the oven πŸ™‚ big hug !!!

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Bea 27 March, 2013 - 7:56 pm

Lovely pics Sonia and nice tip on the fire blanket. πŸ™‚ I know that Microsloth scam welll. I think I’ve had several of those phone calls. I get a laugh out of it each time. I tell them I don’t think what they are saying is happening on my computer, but they are insistent that it’s a virus. Finally when I get tired of the game, I tell them it really is impossible because I run Linux and not Winblows and either he hangs up or I do lol! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 11:12 pm

Thank you Bea πŸ™‚
Nice one Bea πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ LMAO !!!
If only I could see their face ! I just can’t believe how many people have been bothered by them !!

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Stacy 27 March, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Sonia, you may be tired of your winter and snow but I loved your beautiful picture! You would laugh hearing us complain where I live about the “freezing cold” and “horrible” weather! We don’t really even need to get coats out!
Scams like that attempt do creep me out. Even a phone call with someone knowing your name is such an invasion of your personal space. The idiot sure didn’t know who he was trying to run a computer scam on! Wrong household for sure! πŸ™‚ It is clear to me that spy was behind the whole thing!
**Fire blanket: awesome idea!
Hugs to the very healthy looking baby of yours!

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 11:21 pm

oh lucky you Stacy ! I dream of summer 9 months per year… we barely can have 3 months of warm weather πŸ™
πŸ˜€ funny cute little spy, kept on knocking on the window !!
I was holding the ball above the camera so she could give us a look otherwise it’s like an animal on drugs ! the only thing she wants to do is play with her ball !

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Kay 27 March, 2013 - 8:22 pm

We keep fire extinguishers in several places in our house. I was depotting a Dior quint the other day using my iron since I don’t have a flat iron so placed one nearby before I began…just in case! Aside from getting injured, I wouldn’t know how to explain burning the house down because I was trying to soften a plastic eyeshadow case. The risky things we do in the name of beauty :p…but I do love my depotted shadows and blushes!

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bellyhead 27 March, 2013 - 9:58 pm

Sonia,
I’m so glad you weren’t hurt in a terrible way when you were depotting. I always joke about how funny the melting plastic fumes are when I am depotting, but it really is important to take safety precautions!!

We don’t have such cute red squirrels with the pointy ears in my neck of the US Northeast woods, but we have the fat grey squirrels. That’s an adorable picture.

It’s amazing how creative scammers get to try to fall into their grasp. thank you for posting that. It’s good for all of us to be on guard. πŸ™‚

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 27 March, 2013 - 11:39 pm

Hi Bellyhead, you know the funny thing ? I waited 1 month before I confessed it to my bf…
He kept on warning me I will have an accident and I didn’t listen, then 1 day I finally told him the true reason why the table was black and the chair had a hole … : “extreme depotting”
I have a little tree house full of nuts for the squirrels and the birds πŸ™‚ we have dark and red squirrels but it’s the first time he comes that close.
I hope this post will help someone since it has been confirmed that it’s going on worldwide πŸ™

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Bonnie 28 March, 2013 - 3:55 am

Your dog and little house guest are gorgeous! I’m so glad she is better πŸ™‚ And the snow is beautiful although I definitely understand how tiring it must be to have the cold around so often! I was up in Harbin, China last year and it was -20C. I was only there for a few days but it was soooooo draining. I loved it though, as we were there for the ice sculptures festival they run every year.

I laughed at the scam convo, but really, better to safe than sorry. Thank you!

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 8:50 am

-20Β° ouch Bonnie, not for me πŸ™
although I’ll love ice sculptures ! I was in a party where they made all the furniture with ice, the bars, the glasses, etc it was from another world πŸ™‚
I have looked out the pics for Harbin, it’s incredibly beautiful !

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cc618 28 March, 2013 - 4:13 am

Beautiful snowy picture, Sonia! Over here I am experiencing hot humid days- sometimes super bright sunshine, sometimes cloudy overcast skies.. Mostly hot and steamy mornings, storm-clouds in the afternoon, and thunderstorms later.. πŸ˜› (I have been mixing with some weather nerd friends πŸ˜› )

Is that a red squirrel?? πŸ˜› πŸ˜› Just checking.. πŸ˜€

The fire blanket is a great tip! Surely need one around the house.

Big hug to your dog! Nothing beats a healthy pet. πŸ™‚

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Stacy 28 March, 2013 - 8:13 am

Oh CC I didn’t even think of that! That sweet little squirrel looks healthy and appears to have a very nice SOFT looking tail! Sonia…??!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 9:11 am

and he has a lot of friends too πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 28 March, 2013 - 8:55 am

Weather nerds πŸ˜€ I know how to identify a storm cloud, other than that…
Yes it is a red one πŸ˜›
She hugs you back πŸ™‚

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Devin 28 March, 2013 - 11:52 pm

I know you are sick of the cold but that picture is beautiful. Thanks for the heads up about this scam since I had never heard of it. I will have to let my Mom know because she probably would have gotten conned.

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Mimi 29 March, 2013 - 12:23 am

One question, why are so many re-potting their cosmetics? Is there something wonderful that I’m missing out on?

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Sweet Make Up Temptations 29 March, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Hi Mimi,
re-potting (depotting) is to remove the eyeshadow pan from the compact to store them in big palettes and to see them all at once.
on my side I had way to many little Mac pots and I was not using them because I had to open them to see them all together and have new ideas.
Also here we had the “back to mac”, 6 empty pots = 1 lipstick, the lipsticks here cost a lot so that helped to get a few for free.
I also depotted Nars, Rock and Republic, Dior, etc
I wish all the brands had the option to be delivered without the pot or the compact but unfortunately they don’t.
it’s often a question of space, and easy access to them.
it shouldn’t be dangerous if you are careful in the process but I was just being a fool πŸ˜›
but when it comes to knifes/fire I am in danger even in the kitchen when I cook, just need to pay more attention to what I am doing…

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Gladys L. 29 March, 2013 - 10:02 am

I want to play with squirrels! (*o*)

Reply

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