There are many scary things in life. These days, having your computer infected with a virus is one of them. Your BBB is warning consumers of scareware, a computer scam that uses pop up messages to prompt you to purchase antivirus software.
Scareware scams scare the user by telling them their computer has been infected with a virus and to protect themselves they should click on the ad and purchase the software. In reality, the computer has not been infected with a virus.
If a consumer tries to buy the software they are providing, it will either install malicious software onto their system (sometimes automatically) or it won’t do anything.
Consumers should look for the following red flags when dealing with scareware:
1. Does the pop up have icons that can’t be clicked? Scareware tries to ensure trust by giving the consumer links to recommendations, however the links don’t do anything.
2. Do you know the software name? Scammers typically use well known names or names that sound similar.
3. Can you easily close the pop-up? Scareware pop-ups will not close easily.
Consumers can protect themselves against scareware by making sure their computer has up-to-date, legitimate antivirus software installed.
If you’ve been a victim of scareware, you should file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.