So I have been really busy getting the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day together in London Ontario on May 19. That event is looking wonderful and its a free event for residents in my city to learn about nutrition and eating real food!
So Sunday morning I was meeting one of my terrific volunteers and I checked my email before leaving. My email inbox was completely empty. I was also given a screen that indicated my account had been accessed from Nigeria. I went on Facebook and my instant messages started flashing. I didn’t have time to respond so i left and headed out to my meeting. While I was waiting for her at the coffee shop I went on Facebook from my phone. I had 4 unread emails on facebook.
I opened the first one and they told me that they had received an email from me indicating I was in the Phillipines and that I had been robbed at gunpoint the night before. Apparently I was requesting 2000 to get home after my passport cash and credit cards were stolen.
I opened the other notes and they all said the same thing. I received a call on my cell from another friend worrying that I might have actually been robbed.
I realized that I had been hacked and that all my facebook contacts and email contacts had received this message.
I immediately changed my password on facebook and on my email account. Then I went to Twitter and changed password there too.
Later that afternoon when I got home I found that the passwords I had changed things too had been changed again to something I did not set them too.
I went through the process of setting new passwords again and hoped that would be the end of it.
I determined that the reason this happened was likely due to a an email that was in my mail on Saturday night from Rogers telling me that I needed to upgrade to the most recent version of their mail . I knew that they had recently upgraded their email tool so it didn’t strike me as odd to click in that and then go to what appeared to be my rogers sign on screen to enter my user name and password.
Well done scammers you got me!
The next morning I went to access my new gmail account and found that my password was not valid.
I thought I was losing my mind. I no longer had access to my primary twitter account on my laptop and my new email account was acting up too?
Twitter continues to be a problem as it has my old email address in its records for me and keeps sending requests to change the password into an account I can no longer access! I no longer have any emails that you may have sent me and I don’t have anything I sent you! I no longer have your email address either!
I have with the help of my awesome technical resource at the office finally cleared this laptop of this trojan, worm or whatever it was!
I am going to provide the steps that I took to resolve this problem and everyone who received this email or who has dealt with this kind of email hack may want to try these steps before they take it to a company to reformat your computer.
1. I was using AVG Free anti virus. AVG scan did not pick up any virus or problems in my computer. I was speaking to a technician last week about anti virus software and he said AVG is the one to avoid. That every day there are users coming in with laptops that were infected by viruses that AVG did not find. He suggested AVAST if I was going to use a free anti virus program.
2 I deleted AVG free anti virus and then downloaded AVAST. AVAST scan found a handful of errors and I had hoped I had cleared the problem. The next morning I went to check my gmail account and once again my password was changed and I could not access it.
I spoke to my techie guru at the office and he suggested the following steps.
1. Download Combofix which is freeware and run that first.
I ran Combofix and it cleaned up a ton of errors in my laptop. It took about 10 minutes but clearly did a great job and I highly recommend it now.
2. Then download Malaware Bytes – Anti Malaware.
This took almost an hour to scan my laptop and it only found 1 additional problem that Combofix had not cleaned up.
3. After running the scans change all passwords one more time to complex passwords that combine numbers, letters and characters.
This morning I am happy to report that all my passwords are working correctly. My twitter account still needs the twitter gods to change the email address associated with that account and then I will have Twitter working correctly for me too.
This caused a lot of headaches for me and for my friends thank you for notifying me. I admit i was getting tired of repeating that I was not in the phillipines and that I was already aware I had been hacked.
But it did not stop me from progressing with the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day planning. I am on track and this event will be awesome!
Please if you are concerned that you may have a virus in your computer take the advice I used and try it before spending money on reformatting your machines!