Yesterday my mom intuition pretty much saved the day.
You know that voice you have as a mom, the one that tells you when something’s up with one of your kids that needs your attention? I learned to listen to it long ago, even when it doesn’t seem to make any sense at first.
So right after I finished my lunch yesterday, I had this strong feeling I needed to go home. Everything I needed to do in the afternoon was on my laptop, so I packed up and headed back to the house to work, knowing that our Middle was home all day. It was an off-day for her – a day to do homework and handle her online coursework.
I walked in the door to impending disaster. Her laptop had been overtaken by the scam that’s been going around. Screen locked. Continuous audio loop of a dire warning that her computer was about to die a painful death if she didn’t do such and such. She was on the phone with a scammer masquerading as a Microsoft help desk guy, who was hard at work trying to convince her she needed to spend ridiculous amounts of money RIGHT THAT MINUTE to install the world’s best virus protection, blah blah blah.
She had the guy on speaker phone, so I could hear every word. It was crazy – I was telling her this was totally a scam, and the fake customer service rep was trying to argue with me and kept up the hard sell.
Middle was so distraught and confused she tried to argue with me as well, so I had to get tough. Raised voice and everything. “THIS IS ABSOLUTELY A SCAM AND WE ARE NOT PAYING THIS JERK $300 FOR THREE MONTHS OF A SUPPOSED ANTIVIRUS. HANG UP THE PHONE NOW!”
She did finally hang up. We spent several minutes trying to get all the crap screens on her laptop closed so we could even shut the damned thing down. We’re cautiously optimistic that no permanent damage was done. It started up just fine and operated normally. Her father will spend this evening doing a thorough reaming on the device, a task that was overdue, anyway.
The moral of the story?
For Pete’s sake, listen to that little mom voice. You’ll be glad you did.