Scam advice

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A cautionary tail and some advice please.

Very briefly, I live in Spain and had problems transferring funds from my Paypal to my bank. The transfer failed several times because my UK bank kept refusing the withdrawal. This confused me as I was making a deposit so tried again. I then raised a support request with Paypal. I received a phone call from Xoom who said they handle Paypal international transfers and would assist. They asked to take control of my PC which they did. For 42 minutes, they faffed around, mostly behind a blank screen but I could see the mouse cursor moving and a running commentary. Anyway eventually they announced the transfer was accomplished.

Needless to say the money had vanished. That is the short version!

It has taken a month of onsite messages and emails to PayPal and Xoom to get to the point where Xoom confirmed I was scammed by the alleged Xoom support technician taking control. Indeed, I think the scam started at the point I tried to make the transfer in the first place, hence the withdrawal attempts. I blissfully unaware of any of this of course and hadn’t revealed my sign on credentials or passwords.

During those 42 minutes they had control, I suspect they were scouring my computer for information to use or sell-on.

What I’d like advice on is what steps i can take apart from the obvious of changing all my passwords. I’ve run a few scans to see if there is any malware but found none. I did find a remnant of the Teamviewer type software on my desktop though.

So any techy advice would be appreciated.

As for the fraud, it seems PayPal are blaming Xoom and Xoom are blaming me for allowing their technician to run my computer. In other words laying the groundwork for refusing to recompense me. I’d never heard of Xoom before. My contract was with PayPal and it was to PayPal Spain to whom I complained.

If my claim is refused I will escalate it through both the UK and the European Ombudsmen as it involves the UK and Spain, where I live.

I must add I had taken screenshots of emails, messages and website screen from both Xoom and Paypal. I am very dissapointed with Paypal as it has taken 4 weeks of pestering for them to escalate, let alone investigate. Very bad performance.

Comments (7)

7 responses to “Scam advice”

  1. Avatar

    youwerewarned

    Very simple--wipe it or replace it. I'd do the latter.


    And never give remote access to strangers. Never.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      In reply to YouWereWarned:

      Unfortunately, that is the only real advice. Blow the hard drive away and start again. Like you, I'd either replace the drive or, preferably, the whole device.

      It is possible they installed custom firmware that would survive a rebuild of the machine, although that is probably unlikely. But I'd still probably go for a complete replacement.

  2. Avatar

    phil_adcock

    Agreed. Likely the company is going to blame your ignorance on letting the tech work through your computer. This tech maliciously used your computer to like you said scrape your data. Any vendor in the banking industry that is going to be able to push/escalate an issue is going to be able to do so on their end with out needing access to your computer. Simply put they have gatekeeper access on their end. They may have to get in contact with other vendors to get things pushed through but in the end it's on them to get it done. Nothing done on your computer is going to get that pushed through. That's red flag #1.


    And like YouWereWarned said...Never give a stranger remote access to your computer.

    • Avatar

      wright_is

      In reply to Phil_Adcock:

      I'm not sure about PayPal, but my banks all have a disclaimer at login, saying they will never email links and they will never ask for remote access to your PC. They also state that you should not use a machine for banking that has remote access software installed on it, or had remote access software installed and you must have current anti virus software.

  3. Avatar

    Usman

    Firstly to the machine, back up important files and wipe the machine clean.


    Secondly, are you certain it was from Xoom and do you have a chat log with that Xoom technician on the Paypal/Xoom website? Did Paypal/Xoom confirm the person was their own support technician?


    This does sound like a typical transfer scam, where the scammer will ask you to download remote software and give them control (which is what you should never do).


    I don't think much can be done, unless the Financial Ombudsmen steps in. There is a case to be made that if the technician was a Paypal/Xoom employee/contractor, then Paypal/Xoom are at fault for allowing personal contact information to be used outside of PayPal/Xoom's typical communication systems.

  4. Avatar

    waethorn

    Never Google "tech support".

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