You would think that after falling for computer viruses and scams, I would be on the alert when the next one would come. But, I fell for the scam.
It looked different. I didn't recognize it as a scam. It looked perfectly valid. Nevertheless, I was scammed.
It started when I was researching for some graphics on the Internet. I got this new toy called 'Cricut' and I was going to make some Christmas pictures with it. That is, until I got scammed.
While I was looking for this graphic, a message box came up saying that my computer was infected with a virus. It said I had to call such and such a number to fix it. I tried to close the browser, but a voice yelled at me and told me my computer had a virus. I figured that it was a valid warning at that point. So, I called the number.
Now, I could have called Apple, but I didn't. It seemed like so much of a hassle whenever I called before and I was afraid the virus was ruining my computer so I called the given number. A man named 'Alex' answered and seemed very kind. He explained to me that my computer did indeed have a virus, and that he would fix it.
Three hours later, my computer was 'fixed'. I was asked to buy a license for $499.99. It would give me a year of free technical service. He also installed an antivirus program on my computer.
"Alex' called me the next day making sure everything was working with my computer. He spoke very good English, but with an Indian dialect.
I asked some computer saavy people on my Mac emailing list about the antivirus program. And they gave me the bad news. "You were scammed" many of them told me. I posted a message about it on Facebook. They told me the same thing. I called Apple. They also confirmed that I had been scammed.
After all that, I contacted the credit card company. They told me if I wanted to dispute it, I should contact the scam company first. So, I did.
The scam company's name is 'Brainbro'. I talked again with Alex, and then with someone who had the same dialect, but said his name was 'Brian'. I told them of all the people who said that I was scammed by them. Of course, they did not agree. Alex said that he was disappointed that a reputable company like Apple would say such a thing. I told him that my computer really was not infected with a virus. He agreed with what I said. He explained that when I got the message that my computer was infected with a virus, it really meant that malware was found on my computer. He removed the malware that he found, according to him. They would refund $349.99 of the money I paid for the license.
Just before Christmas, before 8 am, I get a phone call. It was from someone who had the same dialect as Alex. He said his name was Albert. He mentioned something about a license and that within the past two weeks malware was found on my computer. I told him that my computer was working just fine. 'Albert' then hung up. The caller I.D. said 'Private Caller' so I don't know who it was from, but it sure sounded like it was from 'Brainbro'.
You might be wonder what all this has to do with anything spiritual. First, I want to warn all my friends about this scam. When I searched the Internet using keywords, others had been scammed by this company the same way I was. It is scary when you see an authentic message pop up on your computer saying that you have a virus. It can look very authentic, but it may be totally false. It would be easy for anyone to fall for.
But also, this, I believe is how the devil works with us. He doesn't come at us with things that would be obvious to us. He tries to get us to fall for his tricks with plausible arguments. His claims look authentic. We all have fallen at times, into his traps.
How can we not fall for the devil's tricks? The main way is to know the word of God. God's word is activated by His Holy Spirit. We also need to be filled with God's Holy Spirit. That way, we can become discerning.
" If a son shall ask bread of any of you who is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask him?"
We need to be discerning. We need to separate the truth from the lies. The devil's lies look like truth to us. We need to have our guards up at all times because we do not know when the next trick will come.