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Page history last edited by Justin Spratt 10 years, 6 months ago

I am sorry to inform you that YOU HAVE A VIRUS ON YOUR COMPUTER.  Because of this, YOU MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS to protect yourself and everyone in your contact lists from IDENTITY THEFT.


You have most likely been directed to this page for one or more of the following reasons:


  1. I received a spam email from one of your email addresses (if this is the case, you are already the victim of identity theft--someone is impersonating you to attack others)
  2. I noticed that one of your accounts posted a spam message on Facebook (or Google+ or another social network site)
  3. I received a virus-infected file or piece of hardware from you
  4. You told me that you suspect a virus might be on your computer 


For one or more of these reasons, I strongly suspect that you have a virus on your computer and all your credentials (that is, usernames, passwords, stored credit card and bank card info) that you have ever used on that computer are compromised (that is, they are in the hands of those who would profit at your expense and the expense of your loved ones and everyone on your contact lists).


In order to MINIMIZE THE HARM, TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS NOW in the order listed:


  1. Shut down the virus-infected computer (power it off) immediately (in the age of wireless, simply unplugging its network connection is not enough)
  2. On a clean computer, change the password to the account that was used to send the spam and/or files.
  3. Read and then follow the following pages that I (J. G. Spratt) wrote to help you:
    1. How to get rid of computer viruses
    2. How to stay virus free on your computer
    3. Information about passwords
  4. If you have any reason to believe that any of your monetarily significant accounts have been compromised (e.g., someone got access to the same email account that you use to login to payment systems (e.g., Amazon, PayPall, Ebay), the email account that you set to be able to reset passwords on payment systems (probably the same account), your computer was compromised while you logged in to a payment system), contact those organizations and have your card numbers, PINs, etc. changed.
  5. If you have any accounts that used the same password as any of the accounts that were compromised, change those passwords now.
  6. If you have any accounts connected to the account that was compromised, change those accounts' passwords now.
  7. Change all the rest of your passwords.  There is no sure way to be sure that they have not been compromised.
  8. If you are not using Gmail already, switch to Gmail and setup two-factor authentication (as explained in the Multi-Factor Authentication section on use a strong password)
  9. Email or message everyone who received your spam messages or posts.  Tell them that your identity was compromised and that the message did not really come from you.  Tell them not to click on the links, open the attachments, download the files, etc.  Do NOT include the original email content (links, files, etc.) when you email them.  Confirm to them that you have taken the appropriate steps to ensure that this will not happen in the future (you have changed your password, etc.).


The above steps will take up a significant portion of your day.  If you care for those who have been attacked by your account, you will sacrifice the time needed to rectify this situation and ensure that it does not happen again (by following the steps above).  If you care more about your own time today than the security of your identity and the identities of the others on your contact lists, simply disregard this entire webpage--it was written with the assumption that you care about others as well as yourself.


If you give into the temptation to not follow the above steps immediately, you have absolutely nothing to complain about if you become the further victim of identity theft.  If I receive any more spam from your account, I will delete you, create a filter to immediately delete all future messages from you, and take any additional steps necessary to protect myself and my contacts from identity theft.

minimize the harm, take the following steps now

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