fake malware notice

The other day I received a call at my office from an unknown California number. The background sounded like a nightclub at closing time on Saturday night. Beyond all the noise, some guy with a thick accent started saying something about a virus on my PC. “You have a virus on your PC” was all I heard, then a bunch of mumbling. I immediately replied “I am not interested in your scam, please hang up”. After repeating this several times, he finally said “F%#* you motherf$%#@” and hung up.

While this may be an extreme example, some callers are more polite, even professional perhaps. Some pose as Microsoft engineers asking you to please log into a website to fix the alleged virus on your PC. Doing this only gives them a doorway to actually place the malware on your machine. After installing the malware, they will now gladly remove it for a few hundred dollars. Please, don’t fall for this malware scam.

Fake or Legit Warning:

legitimate malware notice issued by google
A legitimate warning issued by Google

While browsing, you may see other various warnings. Some are legitimate while others are not. The dead giveaway is the existence of a toll-free number that you must call. Don’t do it; even it it says (especially if it says) it’s to a Certified Microsoft Engineer. I mean really, how many engineers do you think Microsoft keeps on 24/7 call to help you out of a bad browsing experience or “accidentally” clicking on a porn site link? The malware warning popup shown above is typical of that issued by Google when they identify as site as compromised or highly suspect.

What to Do:

If you get a phone call, just hang up and block the number. Simple as that.
If you accidentally navigate to a malware site or get a big popup warning that you’ve been infected, don’t panic.  The first thing to do stop clicking and shut down your browser. Here’s how on Windows 10:

  1. Press CTRL + ALT + DEL keys, this opens the task manager selection menu.
  2. Click the selection labeled “task manager”.
  3. This will open a list of currently running tasks.
  4. Click on the browser task (firefox, edge or chrome) and select “end task”.
  5. Start your virus scanner and do a scan immediately.
  6. Shutdown your PC then restart.

Once you complete all the above, try opening your browser again. You should be in the clear.
However, if still have problems, you can CONTACT US and I will personally help you through the issue or recommend a reputable local PC service to get you up and running safely again.

The web is a scary place these days, but with a little caution and common sense, you can still browse safely.

Other Reading: AARP Fraud Watch Network

header image courtesy of malwaretips.com

Don’t Fall for the Malware Scam

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