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Woman's Nude Photos Stolen by Dell Tech Support

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 11 comments

Stranger than fiction? Sometimes.

Sometimes the things that happen in real life, especially in seemingly boring and ordinary situations, are stranger than what we can imagine.

A 48-year-old woman named Tara Fitzgerald from Sacramento was the victim of some very special technical support from Dell's outsourced team in India. In December 2008, she contacted Dell's technical support seeking help in a very sensitive problem.

Fitzgerald thought that she had misplaced a number of erotic pictures of herself that she was saving for her boyfriend. She contacted Dell's technical support and was helped by a level 2 tech named Riyaz Shaikh in Mumbai, India (who was actually an employee of Sitel India, an outsource call center service).

"I trusted him. I trusted him because he was a Dell technician," said Fitzgerald.

She let him have remote access to her PC, and she witnessed him take the pictures off of her email. Little did she know, those pictures were being saved for a nefarious purpose.

Less than a month later, Fitzgerald was notified from an unknown email that her naked pictures were published on a website called "bitchtara."

Fitzgerald then contacted Shaikh again about the pictures, and he suggested that perhaps her boyfriend had leaked them to the internet. Oddly enough, a user named "rayizshaikh" claimed ownership of those photos on the bitchtara website, but Fitzgerald didn't have the heart to study the online posting.

Shaikh told Fitzgerald that he would work on her case from home and requested that he be provided with a new Dell laptop in his home in Mumbai.

"My conscience is talking to me, saying 'Tara, don't send this. Are you crazy?' I sent it anyway," she said.

Fitzgerald spent $195 sending the laptop via UPS next-day air shipping.

The conversations between the two became of personal nature. In an email dated January 11, 2009, Shaikh wrote: "There are no words to express how I feel about you. I constantly search for the words, and they all seem less than I truly feel. You are my life, my heart, and my soul. You are my best friend. You are my one true love. I still remember the day we first met. I knew that you were the one I was meant to be with forever."

But then a month later on Valentine's Day, Shaikh broke the news to Fitzgerald that he had fallen in love with a 22-year-old woman from Tennessee who had also met him through Dell technical support.

Fitzgerald soon discovered two charges on February 17, 2009 totaling $802 on her Dell Preferred credit card for a computer and router that were shipped to a woman in Waynesboro, Tennessee.

Fitzgerald was able to get in contact again with Shaikh on March 18, 2009, when he admitted his fraud: "ur my True friend Tara... I am sorry Accidently I charged ur Dell Account but I will pay. I don't want to loose my job. It was a mistake which happend with me and I am screwed."

Shaikh at a later date promised repayment: "We will pay u 1000. 500 and 500. remaining 500 u have to wait 2-4 mth."

Fitzgerald said that she reported the inappropriate contact and credit fraud to Dell on three separate occasions last year. Dell provided an affidavit to disavow the fraudulent charges on her credit card, but she refused to sign it because she wanted Dell to acknowledge the charges had been made by one of its representatives. Her most recent contact from Dell was a letter seeking a past due payment of $77 on her Dell Preferred credit card.

After reporting the incidents to Dell and the Sacramento Police Department more than a year ago, Fitzgerald finally decided to turn to the media to share her story.

"I've been violated. My life's been violated," said Fitzgerald. "I'm a woman, and no woman likes to be taken advantage of."

Dell has yet to respond.

(Source: News10 KXTV.)

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  • 1 Hide
    knightofdames , 3 August 2010 13:08
    Dell Hath No fury than a woman scorned....
  • 1 Hide
    timmybazza , 3 August 2010 13:12
    god dam spammers that cant even speak proper english
  • 5 Hide
    DavC , 3 August 2010 14:45
    this spam is getting stupid! nearly as stupid as this woman sending a laptop abroad, and then only crying about it when the guy lost interest in her! yes, yes, the dell "technition" was well in the wrong too, but you can only have so much sympathy for someone so stupid!

    and Tom's... please sort out your spam problems, its getting a joke!
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    CPfreak , 3 August 2010 17:01
    if this probl isn't fixed by the end of the holiday i'm gone from tom's.
  • 0 Hide
    ngom52 , 3 August 2010 19:31
    holy cow, this is messed up on so many levels.........
  • 0 Hide
    timmybazza , 3 August 2010 20:16
    I'm sorry, but you'd have to be an idiot to send your laptop away to someone you've never met before AND pay for the P&H. Also, if she didnt realise that the website "bitchtara" was about her and that "rayizshaikh" is quite obviously Shaikh she should have her IQ checked
  • 1 Hide
    flaminggerbil , 3 August 2010 21:16
    She is a rediculously stupid woman.
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , 4 August 2010 00:26
    Fitzgerald thought that she had misplaced a number of erotic pictures of herself that she was saving for her boyfriend. She contacted Dell's technical support

    So I don't get this... you misplace some photos and ask for help from Dell? WTF? Then you let him download the photos from your email 0.o .. so the photos were not misplaced?

    THEN you send out your laptop to a personal address (WHY??), on a personal name, from a call centre? WHAT WAS SHE ON??????

    She is either very stupid or she is not saying the truth.
  • 0 Hide
    jubber , 4 August 2010 01:59
    Chaps - I think you sometimes forget you're readers of a website dedicated to tech. I assume the dumbest of tom's hardware's readers is more technically minded than most people out there. This unfortunate lady might be an expert in her field of knitting or shopping or whatever women do just as we're good with computers. She's guilty of nothing more than innocence, naivety and perhaps being lonely. Not the greatest sins in the world. I have downloaded her pictures and she seems a very nice person, not to mention quite flexible.
  • 0 Hide
    flaminggerbil , 4 August 2010 03:49
    jubberI have downloaded her pictures and she seems a very nice person, not to mention quite flexible.

    Oh dear, kind of hope you're joking here.

    There's making a mistake due to lack of knowledge in a particular field but then there's making a mistake due to being godamned stupid. This particular event would fall into the later of the two.
    I could go into detail as to why this is but the news post speaks for itself.
  • 0 Hide
    jubber , 4 August 2010 06:48
    of course I was joking!