Scam of the day – March 8, 2017 – Sophisticated new tech support scam

I have been reporting to you about tech support scams for years.  These scams generally have involved pop-ups that appear on your computer screen informing you of a serious non-existent problem with your computer that requires immediate attention by you and for which you are required to pay money for a service you don’t really need.

Microsoft is warning people about the latest incarnation of this scam that appears quite legitimate.  This particular tech support scam uses Techbrolo malware that provides dialogue loops and audio messages in addition to the usual pop-ups.  The audio message says “Important security alert!  Virus intrusions detected on your computer.  Your personal data and system files may be at serious risk.  All system resources are halted to prevent any damage.  Please call customer service immediately to report these threats now.”

If you click OK on the phony dialogue box, it will take you to what appears to be the website for Microsoft tech support and even the website address appears to be legitimate, but it is not. From there it lures you into paying for a worthless service to solve a non-existent problem.

TIPS

If you are using Microsoft Edge as a search engine when the tech support goes to full screen you will receive a notification from Microsoft Edge that you can click “Exit now” to stop the attack.

It is also important to install anti-virus and anti-malware software and keep them up to date with the latest security patches. Also, if you use Microsoft Edge as a search engine, it will block many of these attacks and enable you to stop pop-up dialogues used by the scammers.

Neither Microsoft nor Apple will contact you by way of pop up ads offering tech support for which you will be charged.  It should be noted, however, that Microsoft does regularly issue software security updates, but they do this in automated updates if you have enrolled for this service.  If you receive a pop up ad purporting to be from Microsoft or Apple and have any thought that it might be legitimate, you should merely contact Microsoft or Apple directly at a telephone number you know is accurate to confirm the pop up was a scam.