Malwarebytes has discovered an old tech scam that has resurfaced. Hackers are compromising legitimate web sites. When you visit one of these sites, a pop-up appears on your computer telling you that you have a virus and you need to call a 1-800 number. To make it look like there is something wrong with your computer, the browser is locked and doesn’t respond to clicks.
If you call the number, you are asked to download diagnostic software that gives the hackers control of your computer. They then appear to find the virus on your machine and proceed with a hard sell trying to get you to pay to have it removed. In reality there is nothing wrong with your machine.
No software will magically detect issues on your computer without being installed. No browser can detect issues with your computer. Microsoft does not send out alerts to let you know your computer is not working properly or has been compromised. Anytime you receive an alert of any kind with a support phone number, it is a scam.
The good news is, with this particular scam there is nothing wrong with your computer. All you need to do is shut down your browser through the Task Manager and everything goes back to normal. Just remember not to visit the same website again.
To shut down your browser in the Task Manager:
- Press CTRL + ALT + Delete
- Select Start Task Manager
- On the Tasks tab, select your browser
- Click the End Task button.