Helen, a friendly, new-to-computers, 85-year-old woman, stands at the Ducktoes’s Computer Shop counter. She smiles awkwardly, more of a grimace than a smile. I know Helen, she bought a used computer from me about a year ago. At first she learned how to click the mouse, then she started playing solitaire, then I showed her how to do email, now she Skypes her children in Toronto and Newfoundland, and lately has started talking to her bridge group on Facebook. She’s told me she feels much less alone now that she can connect to her friends and family on the computer.
“Hey, Helen,” I say, “Nice to see you.”
Her grimace-smile fades, moisture come to her eyes. “The police say I’ve done something wrong on my computer,” she says, her right cheek involuntarily twitching. “I told you I didn’t know what I’m doing. Now they think I’m a terrorist.”
I hand her the tissue box. “I doubt that, Helen.”
She takes out a tissue and dabs at the corners of her eyes. “I have to buy a gift card at Canadian Tire and send it to the RCMP.”
I feel sorry for her and anger rises in my throat. I cough. “Since when does the RCMP let terrorists off the hook with a Canadian Tire gift card?”
She looks up, surprised. “Now that you mention it,” she says, “I did wonder about that.”
“How absurd,” I say. “Everyone knows they prefer Tim Horton’s gift cards.”
Now she laughs.
It’s a virus,” I say, “the Cybercrime UKash virus.”
“Thank goodness, it’s only that” she says. “I was worried I couldn’t Skype anymore.” She grins. “And really don’t you think the police like Starbucks better now?”
We both laugh and make plans for George my delivery driver to pick up her computer the next morning and so we can remove the virus.
So if you see this warning on your computer, don’t go buy a gift card for the police. It isn’t from the police, it’s from criminals. Criminals that won’t be able to go to Canadian Tire to get out of their crimes either once they are caught.
Ducktoes can remove this virus for you and you won’t have to wait a week or two. We can do it today at our shop or access it from anywhere to fix viruses or other problems remotely. We’re Calgary Virus Removal experts. Call 403-219-3031 or drop it by the shop at 902 Centre St. N.