Cyber Security

Watch Out For This Pop-up Scam

What is a Pop-Up Scam?

A pop-up scam is an online scam designed to get a person to click through on a website that claims to be providing some service such as downloading software, or signing up for a free trial of some product. They are often affiliate-marketed and only appear legitimate if the user clicks on the ‘agree’ button or some other form of action that then takes them to a third party site.

The main purpose of these scams is to make money from the users who are tricked into clicking on them, and thus have their computers infected with malicious software such as Trojans. The victims of such a ‘scam’ typically receive no meaningful value after signing up.

What is the Pop-up Scam?

These pop-ups appear as full windows requesting the user to call a fake tech support line or visit a fake website that will direct users to pay for computer repair services. The scammer then attempts to make the victim believe that their computer has been hacked and they need to purchase expensive repair services to remove malware from their computer. They will say anything they think is necessary to convince victims to pay them money.

They may also claim that they have a virus or that the computer is “out of date” and must be updated or repaired. They may even claim to fix their computer remotely.

The scammer will often make specific, targeted comments (gibberish) in an attempt to catch the victims attention and make them believe that this is some sort of authentic call center with real tech support associates. They will also call the victim using a real phone number and pretend to be one of their customers or family members.

The fake website URL will often be something like “click here to help you” or “click to find out about computer problems”. These scam sites are often created by criminals who have access to computers in the victims country which they can use to redirect their victims through spam links or other nonsense websites.

Victims who click on the fake link are redirected to a site that often has dubious claim and is not related to the issue at all.

How to Avoid Pop-Up Scams

• Be aware of what pop-up scam sites appear as.

• Close pop-ups immediately.

• Install an internet security program to help prevent these scams from happening in the future.

• Use caution when clicking on links or attachments.

• Never provide personal information to websites that don't seem legit.

• Don't click on things you don't trust as they are likely pop-up scams. [ARTICLE END]

Pop-up scammers are NOT affiliated with the Microsoft Corporation or the Windows operating system and should not be called for support. It is important to understand that there is no legitimate company that will call you and offer tech support, then charge you money for doing so.

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