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Thread: Computer Question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    slim1836's Avatar
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    Computer Question

    My 91 year old mother bought a new computer a little over a year ago. Don't know what brand or style as I live 900 miles away but will be there over Christmas. She tried to log on a while back and was locked out. She contacted support and they said an annual fee was required to unlock the computer which she paid and it was unlocked.

    My question is: Has anyone heard of such a thing as an annual fee to use what was purchased and owned? She was locked out of everything. If this is becoming a trend in the computer industry people need to be aware of this as she was not told that at the time of purchase. I'll know more when I get there.

    Thanks for looking.

    Slim
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  2. #2
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    If the computer (internet device) is something that includes a service, like a Grandpad, there are fees.

    https://www.consumercellular.com/car...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
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  3. #3
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    Car registrations, land taxes and income taxes are all examples of fees assessed on property you already own.
    Glad your mother got her computer access straightened out. Those fees are a new one on me.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have not heard of this, and doubt it's legitimacy. About 12 years ago my computer got locked by ransom ware. Cost $50 to "unlock" it. Since then it's almost happened three more times, but at the earliest indication that something is wrong I turn the computer off and then restart it. Seems to work.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master StuBach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    I have not heard of this, and doubt it's legitimacy. About 12 years ago my computer got locked by ransom ware. Cost $50 to "unlock" it. Since then it's almost happened three more times, but at the earliest indication that something is wrong I turn the computer off and then restart it. Seems to work.
    I would have to agree here. Probably was some sort of ransomeware. Recommend having it scrubbed by a anti malware software like Avast. Also might be worth investing in an old iPad for her instead. We did that for some of the more senior members of my family and its a lot easier for them to do their shopping and email/Facebook without the headaches of a full computer. Plus its portable so they can take it wherever they go with them.

  6. #6
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    That's a new one. I have never heard of that. I keep backups. If I were ever locked out i would just format, fdisk and reload. Then restore my back ups.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    depends how she got the number to call. if a pop up or something said to call claiming to be "x" legit company its very likely a scam. if she looked on her own for a legit company number than it might be normal. I watch a guy who calls and baits scammers for a living. basically if your old and own a computer your at very high risk of anything involving a computer and phone at the same time.

    I don't wanna say 100% never but you should never need to call or get called for anything owning and using a computer. once they know youll answer a phone they sell your number and future calls are more likely to happen.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    A lot of the software companies are moving toward a software "lease" where there is a yearly fee. Updates are free but there is a yearly fee. This is cash flow to the software companies.

  9. #9
    Linux is your Mom's friend
    Don't want no one to git hurt, but if you're gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    If you go on ebay and buy a copy of windows 10 for under $10 and yes its legal. Download a copy of windows 10. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10 follow instructions on downloading/installing windows 10 media. Create a bootable disk. Boot up from the disk on your mom's computer and install windows 10 activate the key purchased from ebay. And you have now fixed your mom's computer.
    What they are doing is not right!!!! and you don't have to put up with it. You can even remotely help your mom through windows. Just do a search. If you need help with this please PM me and do what I can. I help out my Parents (80's) using the remote helper.

  11. #11
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    All good answers, I'll know more once I get there next week. I may bring that computer back with me and do some research, perhaps even get it scrubbed.

    If indeed it is a genuine lease on certain programs, maybe i can get a tech to put in some new software or hard drive.

    I'm really illiterate when it comes to computers and don't comprehend most of the terminology so just bear with me.

    Thanks for the replies, it's appreciated.

    Slim
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Kungfustyle,

    I was typing as you were, very good post. I'll look into this after the holidays.

    Thanks.

    Slim
    DISCLAIMER: This is a generic comment. It is not directed at any specific human
    being, real or fictional. The comments in this message speak directly to the
    TOPIC no matter the quoted clips - and nothing else. If I have not typed your
    name, specifically, into the message, it IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

  13. #13
    That was definitely a scam!! It sound like some where in the past they were allowed into the PC. or gotten access by way of a scam phone call. Get it cleaned.

    I have received similar scams on this Windows 10 over the years. A screen will suddenly appear and it cannot be deleted unless you answer. and the Pc is locked up. Following the advice of my computer tech. I just turned the computer off for a few minutes and then back on. The scam screen was gone and every thing was back to normal. Has happened may be three times in the last 10 years or so.

    R
    Last edited by R. Dupraz; 12-19-2019 at 12:33 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Avast Free Antivirus - https://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
    Spyware Blaster - http://www.brightfort.com/spywareblaster.html
    CCleaner - https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/download

    Ransomeware is a likely candidate on your Mom's PC. Three free products I use are above, more can
    be purchased if you want (I don't). After a 90-day "puppy love" taste of those products, Windows 10
    pushes Microsoft annual licenses in order to continue to use the expected features you purchased with
    the computer. I deleted all of the Microsoft crap and installed the following freeware and have not been
    disappointed...

    Libre Office - https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  15. #15
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    Take it to a tech and get him/her to load Linux Mint Cinnamon onto it. It will look and feel a lot like Windows 7. No viruses are written for linux, there are NO FEES EVER, all the office stuff comes already installed for free. I haven't ran Windows in years, don't miss it for a minute.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  16. #16
    I am the computer/network/database/etc person for a small office. Been there since 97.

    Linux is great, but I don't think it is for most neophytes. If there is an issue with something, most friends and neighbors will be of little help.

    Windows, regardless of version is more mainstream and easier to get help with. This also makes it an bigger target for scams, malware, etc.

    Apple/Mac, being based on Unix, doesn't suffer from this issue as much, but the threats are growing. They are considerably more expensive than a Windows PC.

    I have been recommending Chromebooks for folks who mostly only need to use email, web browsing, social media and other online activities. They are inexpensive; a decent one can be had for $300 or less. They have the same 'immunity' to viruses and malware as Linux/Unix, but are virtually maintenance free. The battery life runs around 8-10 hours depending on type of use. Downside... Almost everything is in the cloud with Google. Upside... Almost everything is in the cloud and backed up. If something goes awry, reset and start over. Little, if anything is lost.

    Good luck. Have a good visit with mom.

    Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    Linux is your Mom's friend
    Linux for someone 91 years old? Linux is no ones friend unless they know computers well. If your the kind of computer user that ends paying an annual fee then linux will be nothing but an exercise in confusion!

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake McCracken View Post
    Linux for someone 91 years old? Linux is no ones friend unless they know computers well.
    Don't guess you have sat at a Linux Mint machine anytime recently. It couldn't get any easier for a windows user to run linux mint. It is very intuitive and very easy to figure out.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy


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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Don't guess you have sat at a Linux Mint machine anytime recently. It couldn't get any easier for a windows user to run linux mint. It is very intuitive and very easy to figure out.
    Yep, until you wanna run a piece of software. Then you gotta hope its available for linux.

    I use linux for lots of my Amateur radio stuff. But if the program isnt made for linux... back to windows i go.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
    Dignified? I signed up for brave and courageous, not dignified!

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Wag's Avatar
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    About 15 or 20 years ago, a company tried to give away "free" computers to people but they charged an annual license fee. The company went out of business because of the economical failure of the idea but the company and their service was legit. I wish I could remember the name of the company but it wasn't a scam.

    These days, however, such a thing is more likely a scam than not. Not to mention, there is a high likelihood that it has all kinds of spyware on the machine including keystroke loggers which will capture her passwords when she goes to use her FB or bank accounts or whatever else she is accessing on line.

    Best to do as advised above and wipe the hard drive and install new operating system software.

    --Wag--
    "Great genius will always encounter fierce opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein.

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