A Travellerspoint blog

July 2015

Just To Add Insult

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Things have been going pretty well until last Thursday 16 July 2015, I was taken in by a scam which indirectly cost me about $1500 and a lot of time. It started with a phone call from a smooth-talking 'technician' from "Windows Security". I hung up on him three times, convinced it was a scam. I'd had a few problems with the laptop over the past month and when he rang again I figured that it couldn't do any harm to go along with him a bit.

Within minutes he had me convinced that my Microsoft Software licence had been hijacked and was being used illegally on hundreds of computers world wide. By following his directions I was shown a log of events that illustrated his assertion. He continued to flood me with a lot of words implying there were grave consequences for failing to rectify this problem including no further updates from Microsoft thereby leaving my machine open to vulnerabilities.

Next came the promise to 'fix' the problem. He directed me to the 'run' command window and I typed in a few cryptic DOS commands after which he had remote control of my computer and left me a spectator as he proceeded to launch a series of tasks to "fix" my machine.

There was a short pause and he handed my call over to his "supervisor" who proceeded to launch a sales pitch for a remedial service that would protect my computer for the next two years. When he started talking costs of over $500 I realised I'd been had well and truly. I disconnected from the Internet and shut down the machine. On restarting the first and only thing to appear on the screen was the need for a password. They had simply set a startup password which I obviously didn't know. For all intents my machine was dead and all my data lost. There were two or three more calls from the scammers, intercepted by Jenny who politely told them that the police had been called in. Although I don't think her threat was taken seriously.

I sent out a 'mayday' call to my son-in-law for a recommendation on a replacement machine. We were due to be in Canberra for the Friday and Saturday so we arranged to buy a new laptop for $1500. Meanwhile he generously agreed to look at the corpse of my older laptop.

We returned home on Saturday afternoon and I have been very busy scouring my external drive for any hint of a back-up copy of software and data. Most of the essentials have been restored or rebuilt but there's a considerable gap that may never be filled. Meanwhile the son-in-law informs me that he's managed to retrieve the data from the corpse. No idea what to do with it and the computer, the data may be useful and the laptop, reinstalled, will no doubt find a loving home somewhere.

To some extent, the meltdown has been a breath of fresh air but it has come at an enormous cost of time when there is already lots to be done with regards to the move to Coral Park. On that front, settlement on our sale has finally occurred and the Coral Park Unit paid for. We still have two weeks 'squatting' in our old home, thankfully with permission of the new owner. While a variety of services are scheduled to be turned off this weekend we have some fallback options with invitations to spend time with a number of friends.

The final bit of bad news is that I have an existing medical condition that will cost a considerable premium to cover with insurance. Still, better to pay the insurance than to take the risk of a hefty medical bill in the USA if something were to befall me. 8-)

Will get back to the basic topic of the cruise tour soon.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to my main album

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 23:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Another Glitch

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

We have progressed in the saga of our house sale and move to Coral Park (retirement complex) in Canberra. We have maintained frequent contact with the buyer and our solicitor regarding the Settlement Date and therefor a likely 'move in' date. With a degree of optimism I arranged for a removal on 15 July with some confidence that we could achieve that. The medical hick up described in the previous entry I figured things couldn't go wrong again.

On reflection I arranged for a reschedule of the removal for 22 July given we were promised a 10 July Settlement date. That date came and went with no Settlement, but all sides were confident that 15 July Settlement was all but guaranteed so the 22 July removal was rock solid. I arranged for the electricity and phone line to transfer, terminated our building insurance and submitted the document to re-direct all postal services.

Last Monday with the removal scheduled only a few days away we arranged the delivery of our down-sized furniture which is now stored in a room downstairs. At the time I wrote "Today marks another significant milestone as our downsized furniture has been delivered. The move is now booked for 22 July and we are moving, ready or not. The downsized furniture has arrived partly assembled and some of it still in the original cartons. I suspect we won't be sleeping on the bed that first night, it will take a day or two to find and assemble all the pieces of the flat-pack. We still have more to pack but some things will remain in use until the day of the move and be thrown into a carton at the last minute."

With a week to go and a medical visit to Canberra scheduled for Friday we dropped in on some people to say goodbye. At 16:00 I received a phone call from our solicitor to say that the planned settlement had failed because of a documentation error in the part of the buyer's conveyancer. It looks like this will delay things by at least a week or even longer.

We had agreed with the removalist to go with Wednesday the 22nd regardless with the furniture remaining in storage while we stayed in temporary accommodation but this is beyond the scope of the one or two days we had in mind.

The removalist has been most accommodating and have reschedule us for the 5th of August. As you can imagine it will be no fun living in this place with the content 90% packed. There are no end of other complications such as termination of power, telephone, insurance and postal redirections.

As our number two daughter observed "the best laid plans of mice and men".

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to my main album

Wishing you good health and safe travel.

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 02:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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