Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Tech Support Phone Scam

  1. #1

    Tech Support Phone Scam


    I don't know how many people have had an issue with the phone call from tech support and they want access to your computer and then they essentially lock it and you need a password to get access again and the only way to get the password is to pay them.

    A friend called tonight and she was taken in by the scam. Her immediate concern was to get her pictures and other personal documents off of the computer. I have no idea what these people do or if it is just a matter of getting the password and once input everything is okay?

    Anyway I took her drive out and connected it to my computer and copied off all of her personal data to a flash drive. I ran Malwarebytes and selected only drive E, which is her drive, but the only problems it showed were on Drive C. I have no idea how it detected issues on Drive C as I had unselected Drive C and only selected Drive E for a scan.

    So the first question is, is there a way around the password and to be able to remove it without reinstalling the OS. or recovering from a set of recovery disks?

    Second is there a way to access the control panel on her drive with it still being connected to my computer to make a recovery disk for her drive, as like most people she didn't bother making a recovery disk set so if it has to be reformatted and the OS reinstalled she has no disks? It has a partition on the drive which I assume may the recovery information but the only visible folders are system volume information and recycle bin and I do have the appropriate boxes checked so I can see hidden files and operating system files. The computer is an ASUS.

    Where is the start menu stored on her computer so I can find the actual shortcut for creating the recovery disk to see what it runs and try to run it that way to make a recovery disk in case it is the only way to recover her computer. I have found more than one start menu folder but they all have the arrow inside which I assume means it is actually in a different folder elsewhere on the drive but have been unable to find a start menu that I can open as they all say access denied.

    Thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    you are not going to find a way to make the recovery's on a non working computer. the best fix is a reinstall,its likely that here recovery partition is still good ,you just need to save what you can, and run the recovery, check ASUS site for info on what key to hit on bootup to activate the recovery .
    It sure is a small world when we are so gullible to think that Microsoft or someone that cares , is going to call us/little old me, and tell me my computer is sick and offer to fix it ,good luck

    like the calls telling me they can offer me better interest rates on my credit cards ,and I don't even have a credit card
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Is there no way to get around the password, or to reset it somehow? I made a rescue USB drive so I can now boot into safe which I couldn't before. I can also get into the registry this way but have no idea what to look for there but hoped someone here would have the expertise to get around the password if a person could get into safe mode.

    Thank you
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Try my post here to reset your password:
    Removed my Only User Account from Administrators Group
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    I've seen this same thing where the scammer merely applies the "hidden" attribute to the user's files, so that can be easily reversed. If they have encrypted the files, that's a different matter entirely.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by azasadny View Post
    I've seen this same thing where the scammer merely applies the "hidden" attribute to the user's files, so that can be easily reversed. If they have encrypted the files, that's a different matter entirely.
    I would be very appreciative if you could tell me how to do this.

    Thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Go to the folder where the documents should be and type "attrib -R -A -S -H" to remove read-only,archive, system and hidden attributes... Use a command prompt with admin privileges...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Here's a link with more info... MS-DOS attrib command help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by azasadny View Post
    Go to the folder where the documents should be and type "attrib -R -A -S -H" to remove read-only,archive, system and hidden attributes... Use a command prompt with admin privileges...
    I'm not sure which folder you would mean as I don't get into windows at all so it is the entire system that requires a password not just certain things within Windows. Of course that could be what you mean but would appreciate if you could clarify for me.

    Thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    I have issued this command from the "My Documents" folder, where most people store their data. you need to be familiar with Windows folder structure to do this work. It's not difficult but it requires some knowledge and patience...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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