noun 1. a dishonest scheme; a fraud synonyms:
verb: scam 1. swindle: “a guy that scams the elderly of their savings” synonyms:
OH NO! The dreaded “virus warning”!
Holiday season is prime time for threatening adware like this to pop up on your otherwise normal laptop or desktop screen. Here are our Top Tips, as well as a link to an excellent article on Apple’s website, to keep your computer feeling (and being) safe.
- A pop-up window with a phone number will always be a scam (they call it an ad, but let’s be real). No legitimate source is going to ask you to call. These scammers will first tell you about a dangerous threat to your passwords, banking and credit card information, social security number, etc., hoping that fear will motivate you to fork over your payment information and computer passwords. If there is a URL at the top of the pop-up it will likely be for “virus-scanner.info” or something similar, even if it has official looking graphics (Bank, Apple, Microsoft, Homeland Security, etc).
- A phone call telling you your computer has been hacked or has a virus is always a scam. Again, they will try to scare you by telling you that your computer is infected and your information is at risk. Ask them how they got your phone number, or when you signed up for this service and expect a quick hang up or, worse, more threats.
- An agent who asks for your password or payment information is a scammer. A trusted source will NEVER ask you for your password (check the support section on their website and they’ll usually specifically mention that!). Any support agent from a trusted source will not likely ask you for payment either. If they do, ask for an email with more information before you pay.
- A caller (or someone you called from a pop-up) or a chat window pop-up asks for access to your computer. Again, only a trusted source (and there are few, if any) will need legitimate access to your computer. Err on the side of caution. If you feel uncomfortable, find a local repair source that can handle complex operations for you.
There are also settings available in the Privacy setting on a Mac that will prevent downloads from anywhere but the App Store or a trusted source (like Adobe, etc). On a PC, you can enable Windows Defender (included in the Windows operating platform) and download Malwarebytes to help protect your system from real and fake viruses and adware (both programs are free).
Here is a great article from the forums on Apple’s website that has more detailed information about scams and some solutions specific to OS and iOS.
If you do or have been a victim of these types of fraud, don’t feel bad! You’re not alone and the people who are putting these out there can be very sophisticated. We want to encourage you to be aware and diligent about protecting your computer.
At TechRestore, we do offer virus scans and cleanup for Mac’s and PC’s alike. If you are in need of a service like this, please contact us. We’re here to help!