Tech Support Scamming
using browser pop-up alerts with phony telephone numbers
from "so-called Support Techs
" advising your computer is infected with malware
has become an increasing common and prolific scam tactic over the past several years. In some cases, the scam may be a web page which looks like a BSOD
and includes a tech support phone number to call in order to fix the problem.
You may want to read Your PC Is Infected Round-up
by Chris Boyd at the Malwarebytes Security Blog.
In the majority of these cases the scammers use social engineering
to trick a victim into spending money for unnecessary technical support or to buy an application which claims to remove malware. They typically use bogus error or warning messages
(web page redirects & pop-ups) to falsely indicate that your computer is infected or has critical errors
. This is done as a scare tactic to goad you into calling a phony tech support phone number shown in the pop-up alert and allowing the scammer remote control access to your computer in order to fix the problem. In some cases you are instructed to download malicious software which will actually infect your system. If the victim agrees, the support usually costs hundreds of dollars
and often leaves the victim's computer unchanged or intentionally infected with malware.
The warning alert may claim to be affiliated with Microsoft
or Windows Support
. Microsoft does not contact users via web page messages, phone or email and instruct them to call tech support to fix your computer.Closing your browser and then relaunching it usually eliminates the bogus warning message and is the best way to deal with these scams
. If the browser freezes or hangs, you may have to close it with Windows Task Manager
by selecting End Task.
If the warning alerts continue to appear after closing and reopening the browser, they could be the result of an ad-supported browser extension, adware
or potentially unwanted programs
typically bundled with other free software you download and install. In that case, you may need to perform security scans with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
and JRT (Junkware Removal Tool)