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My dad's friend got scammed by an online hacker.

Mai72

Lifer
Sep 12, 2012
10,558
1,132
126
My dad's friend plugged in her Garmin navigation unit to update it about 2 weeks ago. When she plugged it into her usb port a chat window appeared and the guy told her that he was from tech support. He told her that the computer was running slow, and that he could fix "other issues" if he had full access. She gave him full access to her computer. He also sold her some uslesss crap for her computer that cost about $200 About 4 days her computer immediately shut down and her hard drive was wiped clean. I was able to get the computer back up and running, but I seriously think she needs to get it fully wiped and start over. Hell, the computer is 7 years old. I would trash it and start over.

Anyway, never give your computer over to a person who is claiming that he can make your computer "run faster." She is in her 70s, so it's no suprise that these scum bags target old people. Also, it seems that Garmin had their site hacked a few years ago, and it's still an issue.

 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,758
6,258
126
Also, it seems that Garmin had their site hacked a few years ago, and it's still an issue.
Still? STILL? They didn't conduct a "security audit"? F them, never buying a Garmin again.

Edit: See my next post, this may actually simply be a case of PEBKAC.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,434
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I've updated both my wife's and my Garmin GPS two times per year, for the last 8 years and I've never had that happen.

We both have the free "lifetime" map updates, and the unit reminds me when the map is older than 6 months.

Based on what you described here, she could have already had some kind of malware/virus on her PC. Since she is older and gave them access to her PC, she wouldn't have known any better when it comes to downloads or clicking on links.

Edit:

My father-in-law had a similar thing happen to him. My mother-in-law called me asking for help when she found out what he had done. He basically was watching a YouTube video, and the 'old "Your PC has a virus" pop-up showed up, and he clicked it. He was then connected to some scammer, and they had him do several things and then they wanted to remotely connect to his PC. However, he didn't have the admin password, so that is what ended up saving their files. However, he also gave them his credit card information, and they began charging various purchases on it right away.

So in the end, I had to walk my mother-in-law to what to do for roughly 3 hours over the phone (since they live in the midwest, with me being in the southeast). She luckily was able to transfer her files from the PC before completely wiping it (and also having to cancel the credit card and file disputes for the fraudulent charges).

At least she sent me a $100 Amazon gift card several weeks later for helping her out. :)
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,758
6,258
126
The problem sounds like it's with their site, and not with actual GPS units out in the field. (Not sure how scammers would individually infect those...)

But if, upon plugging a GPS unit into the PC, the unit causes the PC to open a web browser to a "Default upgrade page", which is on their site, but booby-trapped with the "rogue tech chat", then yeah, that sounds like what happened.

Or even MORE likely, stay with me here, they simply opened their web browser of their own accord, and typed in "Garmin GPS update", and simply clicked on the first link that they saw.

Well, at least on Google, those links are ads, designed to look to the unwary like legit search engine links, and they often have descriptions like "Garmin Updates! Click here!", or something.

This happened to a GF of a friend of mine, she was search for "(company) customer service", and then (stupidly) just clicked on the first link that came up. Well, rogue tech scammer time!

Edit: Also, who is to say that this elderly person, didn't have router malware (remember, quite a large percentage of existing routers on the market either have active WAN-side exploits, or explicit backdoors, or even LAN-side JS exploits if left on the default IP and default credentials), and it was surruptitiously re-routing accesses to garmin.com to rogue websites, that can happen too!
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
29,568
3,323
126
Still? STILL? They didn't conduct a "security audit"? F them, never buying a Garmin again.

Edit: See my next post, this may actually simply be a case of PEBKAC.
I bought a Garmin at Costco a few years ago but before opening the box I posted here and was told I could buy a Windows Phone (Nokia 520) that would have GPS and would run with NO data necessary and do the same thing, for like 1/2 the money, IIRC about $60. I got my refund at Costco, never opened the box. I still have several Windows phones, including, I think, that 520. I don't have them activated but can use any of them for GPS in my car if I want to. I leave one in the car, just in case. I don't always go out with my Android phone.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
17,567
1,868
126
I also have an up to date Garmin GPS and have never seen any issue like this of any kind. I agree that the problem is almost certainly on the PC in question.
 

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