Woman Watches As Dell Techs Remotely Download Nude Pics Of Her

Illustration for article titled Woman Watches As Dell Techs Remotely Download Nude Pics Of Her

Says Consumerist, a CA woman "not only watched as a Dell tech support worker downloaded nude pics of her remotely...he also set up a website featuring the photos...then used her Dell credit card to buy stuff for another woman:"

The Sacramento woman, Tara Fitzgerald, initially contacted Dell when some "personal pictures" disappeared from her hard-drive. She was connected to a tech in Mumbai, whom she allowed to access her computer digitally. As she watched, Riyaz Shaikh not only found the images...but downloaded them onto his own computer. As ABC puts it, "Shortly thereafter, 16 nude photographs appeared on a vulgar website created for the sole purpose of displaying her pictures."

Okay, here's where the story really becomes an instructive "what-not-to-do": "In conversations that became increasingly personal, the support technician offered to help Fitzgerald remove the offensive website and somehow convinced her to ship him a brand new Dell laptop so he could work on her case from his home in Mumbai."


As if this were not enough, "On Valentine's Day [the Dell tech] told Fitzgerald he had fallen in love with a young woman in Tennessee who had also called Dell tech support. Fitzgerald later discovered he shipped $800 worth of Dell computer gear to the woman's home in Waynesboro and billed it to Fitzgerald's Dell credit card." It also seems as though the two have continued to be in touch, although this is not completely clear from the available accounts.

Dell has, says Fitzgerald, not responded to complaints and she is considering taking legal action.

On a week when we've already learned that more than 100 million Facebook profile details (albeit "public" ones) have been instructively "leaked" by security experts - and downloaded by more than 1000 users on file-sharing website Pirate Bay - this is not conducive to a sense of security. Now, on the one hand, this is worst-case scenario: the tech behaved about as badly as one could imagine - and even though this is all on him, in the same situation, no customer should be as trusting as was this victim. (If the stolen files don't rouse you to action, coming upon a "vulgar website" starring you probably should.) We entrust people with our most personal information and, at the end of the day, there's nothing but trust - and the threat of firing - keeping the balance in place. Techs haven't taken vows of confessional silence like priests, or committed to a Hippocratic Oath. Most are decent professionals, but clearly occasionally you run across a psycho who steals private info, makes it into websites, falls creepily "in love" with other customers, uses your money to buy them presents, and bilks his company out of equipment in the process. So, keeping that in mind, please be wary.

Woman's Nude Photos Exposed By Tech Support [ABC]
Woman Watches As Dell Tech Support Swipes Nude Pics From Her PC [Consumerist]
Leaked: 100 Million Personal Profiles On Facebook Out In Public [Economic Times]

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Crackers in Bed

Something very similar just happened to me recently due to an Adobe customer service call. I was connected to a rep in India, and during the hour long call, he had to conduct a 'remote desktop' session. While he had control of my computer, he closed several windows that then exposed the photo that was on my desktop. He then commented on my appearance repeatedly, asked me to visit him in India, and even moved the windows in such a way that my boyfriend was obscured. He then moved the windows again so that only my cleavage was exposed.

I took back control over my desktop immediately, and ended the call.

This person then proceeded to contact me via my personal email (which I had NOT supplied him), referring to me as "dear" and "darling." He also attempted to gchat me, add me on Facebook, and add me on several other social sites.

I ended up contacting Adobe, and they actually took the situation very seriously. However, to this day, I still have no way of knowing if any other data was compromised without my knowledge.

I will NEVER be allowing a remote desktop session again.