2016 Scam Update

October 21, 2016

From time to time we update you on computer related scams. A couple of years ago we told you about a scam where you would get a call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft or “Windows Support” telling you that your computer is infected and they can fix it for you. For a fee.

We also told you about a related scam where if you looked up a phone number for Microsoft Support, Dell Support, HP Support, and so on, the first numbers that came up were fake numbers that went these same scammers who want to “fix” your computer. For a fee.

Now these same scammers have expanded. They create these web pages that tell you something is wrong with your computer and tell you to call a number to get it fixed. Of course, there’s a fee. You may be wondering how you actually end up on one of these web pages. There are several ways. Clicking on a link in a spam email is the obvious way, but there are others. One way is through misspelled websites. For example, if you went to goggle.com instead of google.com, you might get one of these websites. But the biggest way is through advertisements on websites.

It’s complicated, but in a nutshell, many websites subscribe to advertisement services. These advertisement services show ads on their customer’s websites. These advertisement services get hacked so that an advertisement takes you to one of these scam web pages. You go to a legitimate website, but the ad on the web site is from one of these hacked advertisement services and you get sent to a scam website.

These web pages don’t just say somethings wrong with your computer. Call this number to get it fixed. They pop-up messages that prevent you from leaving the web page or using your web browser. They sometimes play audio over your speakers telling you about the problem on your computer and to call the number to get it fixed.

The bottom line is that Microsoft will never call you to tell you there is a problem with your computer. A legitimate website will never tell you that something is wrong with your computer. A website cannot know if somethings wrong with your computer. Unless you are on one of our service contracts, we won’t even call you to tell you that something is wrong with your computer.

If you find yourself on one of these web pages that you can’t get out of, the easiest thing to do is reboot. However, it might come back when you open your web browser again. If that happens, you’ll probably need to call us so we can remote in and fix it for you.

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