“Your computer is infected” !!! fake anti-virus pop-up alert scams
What is anti-virus pop-up scam ? How does scammer do ? What does ransomware do ? How can I prevent ? What do’s and don’t ?
Are you searching the answer of above question ? if yes , then you are on right place…
Fake Anti-virus pop-up scams are not a new phenomenon. Scammers have been peddling useless security software and services for years, tricking people into spending millions of dollars on nonexistent computer problems via phone calls, unsolicited emails, or bogus websites, ads or pop-up windows.
In fact, this year alone, an estimated 3.3 million people in the United States will be affected, suffering losses of more than $1.5 billion. Today’s scam artists have added a new twist — using a so-called “technician” to help gain access to a person’s computer.
Cybercriminals often pose as official tech support employees or Certified Partners. They may claim your PC is infected with a virus or malware, your software isn’t working properly, or that you’ve made some changes to your account and need to confirm your identity. These cybercriminals also try to gain remote access to your PC in order to:
- Force you to pay for phony tech support
- Install malicious software that captures sensitive information and often times charge you to remove this software
- Adjust settings which leave your computer vulnerable
- Access your personal, financial, or credit card information
Have a look to a true story
How It Happened To Me I was at home watching television when the phone rang. The woman on the other end introduced herself as a Microsoft technician and said my computer was at risk. She claimed to be from Redmond, though the area code was not even a Washington State number. To investigate the problem, she transferred the call to a colleague, who asked for remote control access of my computer to show me what needed to be fixed. The mouse flitted across my screen, pointing to “corrupt files” he said needed repairing or I would soon lose access to my machine. He then passed me to a third person who claimed to have a Microsoft ID. She was polite, yet at the same time, pushy. Showing me several news articles, she explained the dangers of this issue and said I needed to purchase a service to clean my computer immediately. The situation was very suspicious and my wife and I decided to investigate further before buying anything. I later learned from my daughter this was a tech support scam.
– Lowell, Washington State
There are different types of scammer / ransomware. However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and they will ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can target any PC users, Whether it’s a home computer or endpoints in an enterprise network, or server of government agency or healthcare provider. They can :
- Prevent you from accessing operating system.
- Encrypt files so you can’t use them
- Stop certain apps from running (like web browser)
How Anti-virus popup scammer work ?
An unsolicited webpage or unexpected popup appears alleging the detection of “viruses” or the existence of some unsafe condition that needs to be addressed with great urgency:
Be careful , These scams can appear on any web browser running on any PC, or device. They appear to be authentic, because they might include details such as your IP address and an icon of the browser you’re using. Some of them include voiceovers or annoying alert sounds. You can’t find a way to dismiss the popups, and you can’t find a way to quit Safari. Even if you were to completely shut down and restart your system or device, the annoying popups might just keep reappearing.
What are the warning signs :
- Fake anti-virus spyware programs often generate more “alerts” than the software made by reputable companies.
- You may be bombarded with pop-up alerts, even when you’re not online.
- Scammers commonly use high pressure sales tactics to convince you to buy NOW!
- The alert may request you to pass on the “warning” to “others in your address book” or “everyone you know”.
- Broken or oddly phrased English.
- The message is not addressed to a specified recipient, instead it is addressed to the ‘account holder’ or uses another generic title.
- If your computer has been infected, it may dramatically slow down. Other signs that your computer has been infected include new desktop icons, new wallpaper or your default homepage is redirected to another site.
How can I prevent ?
Whatever you do, never call any phone numbers that appear. They will just want payment, usually in multiple hundreds of US dollars. Worse yet, they may attempt to deceive you into granting them remote control of your PC, conceivably enabling them to install a “backdoor” granting criminals unfettered ability to harvest any or all the information contained on your system, to be used for any conceivable purpose. That’s a road you do not want to travel. Never allow anyone to remotely log in to and use a PC that you own and control.
If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from someone claiming to be from any official of company take down their information, and report your experience to authorities. Scammers may also try to contact you through pop-up windows claiming your computer is infected or via bogus websites or online advertisings. You will never receive an unsolicited call or email from any official of any company asking for your personal or financial information to fix your computer.
- NEVER click on pop-up alerts! Don’t even click on the cross to delete the pop-up alert as this may result in getting more pop-ups. Instead, hit control + alt + delete to view a list of programs currently running and delete the pop-up alert from the list of running programs.
- Use reputable pop-up blocker software to avoid pop-ups on your computer.
- Keep your computer updated with the latest anti-virus and anti-spy ware software. Also use a good firewall.
- NEVER open email attachments unless you can verify the sender and you trust them.
- NEVER click on the links in spam email.
- NEVER rely on the contact details provided in a pop-up message. Instead, find your anti-virus vendor’s contact details through an internet search.
- Avoid questionable websites. Some sites may automatically download malicious software on to your computer.
Protect Yourself – Do’s
- Collect as much information as possible without putting yourself or your PC at risk.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
- Report the caller’s information to local authorities.
- At least once a week, check for updates in your security software and run scans several times a week.
When you can’t find a way around this problem — when you can’t close the page or even quit the web browser you’re using — it might seem that you’re stuck and there is no way out.
If you think your PC may be infected with a virus or malware, let one of our Technicians check it to be sure.
For References and other resources: