Beware! There are people out there with nothing better to do than make trouble for people they don't even know. My sincere apologies to all my blogging friends who may have gotten a strange message of me being stranded in Spain.
The manner of the attack was a hard-to determine trick. I had closed my computer while going up to the third floor to find a piece of information someone had asked for in an e-mail. When I returned and opened my computer to my e-mail, there was a request for me to log in. This happens about once a week or so. When I go to my e-mail, I get a page from Yahoo asking for me to log in using my address and password. I did not look carefully because it looked just the same as usual. HOWEVER, when I got to my in-box, it was empty, no contacts, no files, everything wiped clean. Then the phone rang from a friend saying I had been hacked and telling me the message she had received from a fake address looking like mine but with Julie spelled "Juliie".
So...plan "A", I called my son in D.C. and he helped me change my password and then, by scype, talked me through the reporting process so hopefully within a day or two, I will recover my contacts and files.
The rest of the day I have been receiving phone calls from friends checking to make sure I am OK. Now, anyone who knows me, knows I have "phone-phobia". I have a phone but I never make calls. I am so dyslexic that I can not get any numbers in order ... especially the long phone numbers ... but people who want to talk, call me. If I ever wondered that there was anyone out there that cared about me, I should not have.
The calls were to let me know, to check on me, to sympathize with the problems and frustrations I was facing, and even, like my pastor, to joke that I should bring him back something from Spain.
This is the second time this summer for being hacked. The first time it was Yahoo that was hacked and addresses stolen but this time It was my inability to detect a fake sign-in. My son said I might have known by checking the HTML, but that hackers are good at copying formats. I know most people who use computers regularly are quick to identify that message asking for money as a hacking, but, older friends without so much computer savvy may not. The first hacking in July cost the friendship of a quilting friend who was so angry with me for sending the first message (actually, a link with no subject or message that I would have known not to open) that she never wants to speak to me ever again. I have no idea where that link went but she had never been so insulted in her life!
So. while I wait for my computer to return to normal ... if it ever does ... I will do a bit of hand sewing and be very thankful for my guru son and all my caring friends.