Scammers Tell Guy Hard Drive Has Virus, Bilk For $6 Million

We’ve just found a tech repair service worse than the Geek Squad.

The owner of a computer repair shop is in custody on larceny charges. Authorities discovered he had charged one customer $6 million over six years for services related to the man’s hard drive the repair shop said was infected with a virus. Not just any virus, but one that sat at the crux of a Dan Brown-esque conspiracy.

The tech told the customer that there was a hard drive in a Honduran village trying to infect his hard drive, and that was part of a scheme by Polish priests connected to Opes Dei to infiltrate the US Government. The money the repair place charged was not just for data recovery, but protection from these dark forces.

When the New York Times called the victim for comment, the message on the answering machine said, “If you leave an ad or any other such message, your telephone wire will be fried automatically.”

Shoulda got a Mac.

2 Charged With Fraud of Millions From Pianist [NYT] (Thanks to GitEmSteveDave!)

Comments

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  1. grapedog says:

    This is more of a Monday story…

  2. stock2mal says:

    I don’t really see the problem with this. People tithe all the time and there is nothing immoral about that.

    • obits3 says:

      “Test me in this,” says the tech support guy “and see if I will not pour out so much data that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent viruses from devouring your partitions, and the files in your folders will not corrupt their data before they are saved”

      -Malwareguy 310.58.130.19

    • Xin says:

      oh god my eye!!

      thanks for the laugh of the morning – nothing better then laughing until i feel the tingle of hot wings in my nose

  3. obits3 says:

    MY GOD! Someone’s stealing my water! – Mayor Adam West

  4. The cake is a lie! says:

    I would love to have six million dollars I could spend on hardware maintenance on one piece of equipment… How can someone like that NOT be a target for some kind of scam?

    • MeowMaximus says:

      This is a classic example of the old saying “A fool and his money will be soon parted”. While I am glad these scumbags got caught, I kind of admire their chutzpah.

    • poco says:

      Couldn’t agree more. That tech is awesome.

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    Sounds like the victim had some “psychological disturbances/dark forces” of his own to deal with because one would think a normal person would not fall for this.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      I agree. If someone told me a hard drive in Honduras was attempting to infect my computer, I would blow them off. Even if it were true, the only thing you have to do is pull your LAN cable. O_O

      As others have mentioned, I wish I *had* the 6 million to spend on something like this.

  6. physics2010 says:

    Unless you can prove that these Polish priests have infiltrated the US Government, then I believe the computer tech has done his job. Even if the Polish priests have infiltrated at least he tried. I hate when harddrives in other countries try infect my harddrive.

  7. guymandude says:

    Doesn’t sound any different than the weak minded idiots that get conned by psychics. There’s a saying about a fool and his money… if I could just remember what it was? ;)

  8. hypochondriac says:

    Wow, Didn’t know anyone was the gullible. I kind of feel sorry for the guy, but am also thinking what an idiot.

  9. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Before anyone goes off on the OP – he’s a musician for a nonprofit sacred-music group. So not only does he know nothing about computer, but also apparently believer in crazy religious conspiracy theories.

    While that might not excuse his naivety, it most definitely does not excuse the computer shop’s exploitation of his beliefs.

    (in before the blame the OP comments)

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Very true. Just because you CAN scam someone, doesn’t mean its any more right to do so.

      It really does suck for the OP though – they need to get some psychological help or just step into reality a bit more firmly.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      The question I have is who did this guys finances? How do you see an 85K+ monthly payout for 6 years and not say “what’s this?”

    • shadowboxer524 says:

      I don’t think you were intentionally making a correlation between musicians and a lack of computer savvy, but that’s how it reads. I honestly don’t see how his being a musician has any relation to your point.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        I was about to say this as well. I’m a musician and very savvy with computers.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Sorry, meaning he’s a musician and also not a techie. His job job does not involve technology. I didn’t intend to imply musicians can’t understand computers (ironically, I am a tech-savvy musician)

    • Stickdude says:

      “So not only does he know nothing about computer, but also apparently believer in crazy religious conspiracy theories.”

      If that’s not blaming the OP, I don’t know what is…

    • Putaro says:

      I hate blaming the victim, but if you get scammed for $1K in virus removal charges, that’s the scammer’s fault. They scam you for $6M to remove a virus – you need your head examined.

    • Kibit says:

      Wow, a musician for a non-profit music group has $6+million? to spend on computer maintenance.

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I like how the one guys uncle supposedly went down and retrieved the evil hard drive. Might make for a good movie: Mr. Bedi’s Uncle & The Hard Drive of Doom.

  11. kobresia says:

    Is it really a scam if the perpetrator is delusional himself? That’s almost what it sounds like from the story. There are easier ways to bilk someone, whereas this guy derailed his gravy train by suing Wachovia bank and other people. It sounds more like the guy was a conspiracy kook with a vivid imagination, and the pianist was a bit of an idiot with a lot of money. When a conspiracy kook encounters someone with money and the gullibility to bankroll “investigation” into the conspiracy theories, well that will always end in tears.

  12. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    People just shouldn’t own machines that are smarter than they are.

  13. TechnicallySpeaking says:

    A fool and his inheritance will be soon parted…

    by an Indian immigrant, his Icelandic mistress, 3 Opus Dei conspirators, 2 CIA goons and a partridge in a tinfoil hat.

  14. Arcaeris says:

    Thanks for arresting him, now the infiltration plan can go forth unnoticed.

    • goodpete says:

      SHHHHHH don’t announce it on the internets! Now we is going to hav to infects all of the hard drives!

      • DerangedKitsune says:

        I thought that was our ultimate plan anyway?

        Or was there another staff meeting that I missed?

      • runswithscissors says:

        Tell Juan in Honduras he’s going to be working overtime on this. I’ll inform our dark masters in Opus Dei.

        Signed,

        Father Balinkski

  15. Mike says:

    The victim in this case has some serious issues…and serious money. I looked up his name and found a list of all his political donations. He donates money all over the place, to Republicans and Democrats with no real pattern of any kind. I cringe to think how many other people are milking money off this guy.

    In one of my old jobs we had a customer like this. We would sell him tens of thousands of dollars in computer equipment every time he called us. He inherited all his money from oil, so he had tons to spend. He had an American Express black card, so he had not spending limits on anything. This guy is being scammed by others for sure.

  16. suez says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why he wasn’t tipped off yet by the $3 million dollar mark. $4 million dollar mark. Or the $5 million dollar mark.

  17. Osagasu says:

    I’m not sure how this is larceny, as the article describes the charges against the men… doesn’t that assume that the person didn’t have permission to take the money?
    Fraud yes, but larceny?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      According to the law internets, larceny is:

      A form of theft, larceny occurs when one party intentionally takes money or property from another. Grand larceny (usually defined as a theft of property over $500) is considered a felony, while petty larceny (a theft of property worth less than $500) is considered a misdemeanor.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        According to that definition, even if I *GAVE* you something, it would be larceny, since you “took” it from me at some point.

  18. Hotscot says:

    Isn’t that like religion? The whole threat, fear, believe what you’re told, do what I say kind of thing..

  19. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    Polish priests and a remote Honduran village?

    There is only one thing you need to remember in instances like this:
    “Only You Can Help Prevent Forest Friars”

  20. jiarby says:

    sounds like Gypsies or the Fortune Teller scam

  21. NewsMuncher says:

    At least it wasn’t the Cogito virus.

  22. GrandizerGo says:

    Wow so for that many years he was scammed?
    Some people have kick me signs placed on them by evil people, some people are walking kick me signs from birth…
    1 mil per year. The guy won the lottery for 6 years straight.
    Sorry he got caught.

  23. FenrirIII says:

    Sooo… someone paid $6 million out of fear of Polish priests who somehow had a Honduran hacking computers in the US? How did someone that stupid get $6 million because I totally have some not-swamp land in Florida to sell them.

  24. Duckula22 says:

    Scammer gets canned, we support scammer’s ass while in jail. We need to start making ground meat out of these assholes.

  25. Eli the Ice Man says:

    The tech told the customer that there was a hard drive in a Honduran village trying to infect his hard drive, and that was part of a scheme by Polish priests connected to Opes Dei to infiltrate the US Government. The money the repair place charged was not just for data recovery, but protection from these dark forces.

    When the New York Times called the victim for comment, the message on the answering machine said, “If you leave an ad or any other such message, your telephone wire will be fried automatically.”

    ————-

    Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

  26. backinpgh says:

    That’s got to be the funniest thing I read all day.

  27. zombie70433 says:

    Wow – and I used to think it was funny to tell people that keeping their phone / ethernet cords straight would let the data flow to the computer faster.

    This is the ultimate scam, only a savant on LSD could come up with it

  28. HogwartsProfessor says:

    “There is a curse on you,” the fortuneteller said, “and if you pay me $6 million dollars, I can take it off you.”

    Oldest scam in the world.

  29. MysticYoYo says:

    Was the owner of the hard drive Bill Gates? Who else could afford to pay that much? (Oh, and just imagine the delicious irony if it was Bill!)

  30. yvant says:

    That would have not happened if they where using Linux.

    Viruses simply don’t work on it :)

    another dead giveaway “If you leave an ad or any other such message, your telephone wire will be fried automatically”

    If they beleive that can be done they deserve to be scammed of $6 millions.