Help!! Someone is stealing my personal information!

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Worker#2, May 3, 2007.

  1. Worker#2

    Worker#2 New Member

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    Hello guys, :sadwavey:

    Hopefully you guys can help me...I just bought a subscription just to add more validity to this post. I am a computer noobie.

    Someone on another message board is getting my personal information and posting it publicly. It all started with a religious debate and in the end I chose to ignore that specific poster because they started to profusely use swear words to get their point across.

    They started posting up my home address and social security number to get my attention. Because I have not responded back to that particular person, they began to post my wife's personal information as well.

    Would anyone be able to help me prevent this in the future and enlighten me on how they are doing this? I am freaking out over this!


    I have not downloaded anything suspicious in the past. I do not visit those file sharing programs. I run NOD32 and scan with Spybot. A part of my problem may be that I don't run a firewall. I am currently using Windows Vista. (What free firewall can I use that is compatible?) I will be ordering a credit monitoring service in a bit to help protect my identity.

    Is there anything else I can do!? Please help! :wtc: wtc I don't want any more personal info to leak out!
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    according to your post, too late. :mamoru:
     
  3. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    You for sure want to get a firewall like Zonealarm that will alert you to when something is accessing the internet without your permission.
    They do have a beta that you can get that will work with Vista
    http://download.zonelabs.com/bin/free/beta/index.html


    But something tells me that person got your personal information another way.

    Maybe you have pm'd with someone else in the past, and gave them your real name, which was passed on.
    Less likely, the site owner gave you up. But you would have had to put your personal information into the site at some point. Whether it while you were signing up for the site, or while paying for a subscription.

    Because unless you ran into a serious hacker, it is highly unlikely that your computer was hacked through a message board.
     
  4. Worker#2

    Worker#2 New Member

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    Thanks for replying. I'm not sure how they would've gotten my social security number much less my wife's. I never used my social security number on this new computer that I am currently using.

    No such personal information was required at registration of the message forum. If anything, I would've given my name to someone on that board...but how would they have gotten all that information with just my name? :hs: or is it possible? :hsd:
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    it's possible. Tools like "Merlin" can get pretty much any personal info.

    How do you think the private investigators do their thing? I assure you most of them do very little actual "snooping". They just know what tools to use.
     
  6. mb330ci

    mb330ci OT Supporter

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    Better contact the credit agencies and place a fraud alert on both your ssn's. A small investment goes a long way with id fraud.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    .
     
  8. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

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    This is why religion sucks BTW - learn from Rufus:

    "I just think it's better to have ideas. I mean, you can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. People die for it. People kill for it."
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I've got one to go along with that:

    "Humans are social, not intelligent. That's why it's okay to argue over ideas, but arguing over religion is taboo; if you attack someone's ideas, then you're insulting their intelligence, but if you attack someone's religion, you're insulting their taste in people."

    - - -

    Anyway, as far as the guy who's posting your info: definitely alert your banks and creditors, but don't freak out too much. If I knew your full name and your IP address, I could get your home address and SSN in about two minutes searching on Google.
     
  10. Slid.

    Slid. I'm a guy.

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    Most message boards have policies against posting information like this. Report it to the board owner/moderators and have the user banned and the posts removed.
     
  11. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Why are we assuming this isn't the result of a trojan or keylogger or some such?
    I agree that it is unlikely, but it seems like poor IT work to assume this guy didn't use tools like this to gain some bit of the information.

    On the computer end you need 3 things:

    1) I HIGHLY recomend that you get someone to do a LOW LEVEL FORMAT (or LONG FORMAT) and then reinstall the OS for your OS.
    I don't recomend Geek Squad. If someone trys to use this as an opportunity to upsell you a hard drive tell them to go to hell. If you do purchase a new hard drive DEMAND the old one back.
    I know I am speaking greek to you. And for that I apologize. If you live in SouthEastern PA I will do it for you (I live in Lancaster), otherwise you are going to have to either pay someone or find a friend.

    2) You need to PAY for an antivirus client. Keep it updated. Let this be a lesson (hey it is a very, very good lesson).

    3) You and your wife need to sit down with whoever does this computer work and have that person go over with you the basics of internet security, keeping the OS updated and keeping your antivirus updated. Insist that your wife does this with you. She may not want any part, the computer may not be 'her thing', but it only takes one slip up for everything to go to shit.

    Finally, don't blame yourself.
    Blame your wife.

    Just kidding.

    This isn't either one of your faults. In a way this is BS that this can even occur, but to let that distract you is... well a distraction. This is simply how the world works. There are new lessons to be learned. Time to get learning.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    All good points, but I reiterate that neither his home address nor his SSN is "private information". These are all readily available both online and offline.
     
  13. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    The reason I don't think it's a keylogger or anything like that, is that a poster from that bulletin board would have had to get it on this guys computer somehow.
    And from a bulletin board, I just don't see it happening.
    Unless of course this guy clicked on a link to an executable file without paying attention...
     
  14. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Silly Christians. :mamoru2:
     
  15. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    How do you know it wasn't Muslims. Or Hindus. Or even a Budhist.
    Huh? Did you ever think about that? Well did ya?

    :mamoru:
     
  16. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    But at the end of the day there is no clear culprit. We have no evidence that it was done a certain way.
    You guys did well at helping him cover the financial angles - calling the banks, getting new credit cards, monitoring credit reports and such.... but without evidence saying, 'This is how it was done....' for this guy to be safe he needs to consider ALL the different ways it COULD have been done.

    I agree with you, I DON'T think it was a keylogger or a trojan.
    I am just saying that it COULD HAVE BEEN and if it was it is in all likelyhood still there on his computer.

    If he folllows my instructions that it be gone and not nearly as likely to return.
    If he follows your instructions then whatever financial damage that has already occured will be kept to a minnimum and future financial damage will be kept under control.
     
  17. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Yeah, but from my experience, this is something a Christian would do.
     
  18. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    A Muslim would have just taken the credit cards and bought bombs and stuff with it.
     
  19. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Muslims wouldn't do shit. I've debated with plenty of Muslims on the net.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Since the vast majority of people in America are white Christians, and since you have most likely lived in America your entire life, it's no surprise that you think the guy's religion and his choice of action are related. Then again, you're almost certainly right, even if your logic is totally off-the-wall.
     
  21. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    I've ran a website community which the sole purpose of it was religious debate. It has attracted thousands of people from many different countries, different cultures, different religious and different backgrounds. My forward opinion had little to do with the country I am in and the people I live around. The vast majority of people all around the world, not including America, hold Christianity as their primary belief system... and of course all the different branches of Christianity. The most problematic "group" happen to be American Christians.

    Silly kid. :sad2:
     
  22. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    You should see what FusionZ06 can do with a few tidbits of personal info.

    I don't think it'd be too hard to track me down from all the tidbits I post here.
     
  23. Worker#2

    Worker#2 New Member

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    Hello guys,

    Thanks for all the advice.

    I have already ordered credit monitoring services for both of us. I have installed the zone alarm firewall program, thanks to the link Doc Brown provided. I have also emailed the site administrator from the /whois site someone showed me.

    Currently I am assuming they got a hold of my real name and used some kind of program or service to extract all those information just from my name. This computer is only about a month old and my wife and I rarely go out of our usual bookmarks that we visit on the net.


    And if you guys must know how it all came about....


    I was on the God side. I know Christianity have gotten some bad rap lately so I never imposed on those who don't believe in him.

    All I stated was that it was my personal belief that I believed in him. I also told them that even though it may be likely that he may not exist, it is my religion and it takes faith for me to believe in him.

    He started swearing and acting childish, then I just stated that I was going to ignore him. I ended up not responding to anything he wrote and it just pissed him off more, therefore, he tried posting personal information like that to "get even" with me.

    **Now when I did some digging up on his past posts, it seems like his sole purpose was to humiliate and heckle who ever posts anything positive on Christianity. **

    I'm hoping and guessing this is just a petty thing and is far as it will go. My god, I am not picking a fight w/ the devil anymore after this. Now, all I can do is pray things don't go further...oh the ironing.
     
  24. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    For what it's worth, not trying to turn this into Life After OT or anything, but you should keep in mind two things about atheists: one, they don't lack faith in god, but rather they have an abundance of faith that there is no god; and two, atheists firmly believe in the penultimate nature of rational thought -- to dismiss it by saying "your logic doesn't apply to my faith" (or words to that effect) is essentially the same as telling them their god is a lie. That's why the guy got so pissed off; you refused to engage him in a rational debate about the nature of the universe (regardless of whether he himself was really interested in one at the time), which could be considered an atheist's sacrament of sorts, then you ignored him, which would get under anyone's skin.

    - - -

    Back on topic, install an antivirus program (except for Norton Internet Security) and download/run Lavasoft Ad-Aware and McAfee Stinger. Between having the antivirus app and running the two cleaners, you can be about as sure as you can be that the guy didn't get the info straight from your PC. (As previously stated, the guy most likely got it by checking your IP address and correlating it with your real name to narrow down the list to people in your Zip Code with your name, and then doing another Google search using your address to get your SSN.)
     
  25. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    You obviously never heard of the indentical case to this, a couple of years ago.
    The media played it down, so it's understandable if you never heard about it.

    A guy argued with another guy about religion. The first guys family was slaughtered.
    The first guy was also a muslim/converted to christianity. The argument was about christianity. The muslim made death threats to the christian.
    Probably a coincidence that the christian guy's family was slaughtered though.
     

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