I recently heard from a friend who was afraid they had been scammed. They had, but it seems as if any damage has been reversed. Today I want to describe what they saw so that none of you will fall for a similar scam.
The friend was using Microsoft Edge (the browser), though it could have been any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) A message similar to the one below popped up on the screen. It was scary claiming that the system had a virus. Call the support number listed and “Microsoft Support” would fix the problem for a fee.
Yes, there is some kind of malware on the computer that makes this junk show up in the browser. Should this ever happen to you, get a screenshot and then find the instructions for removing the particular flavor of malware on your system. Do not call the phone number! Never!!! And if you ignore that advice, don’t ever given them any money!
In my friend’s case, the cost was $500 and it was removed from the credit card bill. While the support team claimed they were Microsoft, the credit card bill had a charge from “SQ Alpha 1.” To be extra safe, the credit card provider cancelled the old card and is sending my friend a new card. Hint, Microsoft would never do this so any claim of being Microsoft is just dead wrong.
Could the “fake support” truly removed the malware from the computer when they remotely connect? Sure, they could. That may make them seem somewhat legitimate so they can do it to the same person again in the future. In removing the current malware, they could also install new malware that won’t pop-up a message for a period of time. That would be a great way for the scammers to have a steady source of income.
While they are connected, they could do nothing at all. They could steal information from you. Remember, they’ll want remote control of your computer which allows them to do most anything. As said earlier, just don’t call them and don’t give them any money!