Let’s say you’re surfing around the internet, and all of a sudden, you get a pop-up window that tells you something like “Microsoft has detected a virus on your computer. Call 1800-XXX-XXXX to fix it”. What do you do?
This is one of the biggest scams plaguing the internet. The short answer is: NEVER CALL THE NUMBER! If you do, you will get a tech person claiming to work for Microsoft, or another big company. They will use a bunch of technical terms to scare you into thinking that there’s actually something wrong with your computer (when there is actually nothing wrong). They may even ask to take remote control of your computer to help “fix” the problem. In the end, you will most likely be out a few hundred dollars to fix something that was never broken.
If you do see such a pop-up, the best thing is to ignore it. Try closing the pop up using the force quit commands (CTRL, ALT, DELETE, then open task manager for Windows, or Command, Option, Escape for a Mac). Doing this will get rid of the pop up most of the time. If not, a simple reboot of your computer will work too. After closing the pop-up, make sure you run a scan, using your system security software to make sure there’s nothing hiding on your computer.
If it’s too late, and the scammers are already controlling your computer, simply unplug, or disconnect your computer from the internet. Then, search your computer for any software they may be using to control your computer. It’s usually, Team Viewer, or Go ToMeeting, and uninstall these immediately. If you already gave them your credit card info, get a hold of your credit card company, or bank as soon as possible. They are aware of these scams and can most likely reverse the charges.
Knowing these simple tips will help you avoid being scammed. Please, spread the word, and together, we can beat these scammers