Earlier in the week a friend and colleague had her Mac lock up, displaying an official looking alert stating that the machine had been compromised and was now locked for her protection. It also urged her to call Apple Support, at the number provided, immediately,
She did, and it was immediately confirmed that her machine had been hacked. She was shown a diagnostic report indicating that foreign hackers were observing her activity, stealing passwords and more. This was now an emergency. She happily paid $499.99 to this Apple support partner to have this fixed.
Soon later she realized it had all been a scam. The company that hacked her computer, locked her out and urger her to call were the same people she paid to fix it. Fortunately Apple helped her fix her computer (and remove all of the spyware and malware that was placed on it during the initial paid "repair") and she is pursuing a chargeback with Visa.
These scams are very convincing – in this case it happened to a very smart, sophisticated individual. Read more about this Delvelogic LLC Mac ransomware scam and how to protect yourself.
Six years ago I watched a relative leave a job and start a relationship with a predatory educator that continues to this day. Along the way his savings have been drained, his hopes dashed and earning potential squandered.
When it started he was in his late forties and gainfully employed as a laborer. Probably not the path he or his family had planned but, after many years of not working at all it seemed like progress.
He left this job to take a course in bricklaying despite the fact there was no possible way he could ever get an apprenticeship at his age. But the predatory educator was happy to see his dip into his savings for the tuition, and help him complete the forms that would allow them to access additional government funds. Funds that presumably the government intends to help provide training for jobs people might actually be able to get, benefitting themselves and society.
Of course there was no job to be had (he couldn't even get his old job back) so in addition to losing a year of potential earning he squandered still more on a fruitless job search.
An almost universal truth in business is that it's easier to sell more product to an existing customer than to acquire a new customer, and this predatory educator was quick to exploit that. Over the next several years they would continue to sell him increasingly useless education, and encourage him to follow career paths that were increasingly preposterous.
Someone who was working, saving, and contributing to society has become a career student, squandering the few years of earning potential they have left and draining their savings even as the ridiculous "college" misuses government funds. This system is hideously broken.
Mark Anderson is a software developer, small business owner and pricing enthusiast.