Monday, May 30, 2016

Another Computer Virus Scam

While reading an article, my computer suddenly froze and this message popped-up, along with a recording

The message reads:
Error 268D3
Please call us immediately at 844-576-0464
Please do not ignore this critical alert. If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a virus and spyware. The following information is being stolen...
> Facebook Login
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Login
> Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes toprevent your comuter from being disabled.
Toll Free 844-576-0464
Needless to say, it's been longer than 5 minutes since I saw this bullshit and my computer is still working fine.

This sort of thing is caused by a piece of malware being inserted into a website that causes your browser to freeze, with the accompanying pop-up and recording starting to play. Trying to close the browser by clicking the little X at the top or trying to switch windows won't work. The only ways to close the browser are to
  • right-click the box at the bottom of your screen and click "Close";
  • you can type on the ALT and F4 keys; or
  • you can simply turn your computer off. 

I ran a CCleaner scan after closing my browser, to make sure there was no residual malware on my computer.

What happens if you call the number?

Well, you'll be told that it's Microsoft Support and that they received an alert that your computer had been infected. While Microsoft is very good at creatingnew computer technology, they cannot monitor the entire Internet, looking for malware infections. They can't and no one else can, because the Internet is too vast. It's the same reason we can't remove the plastic polluting our oceans. It's ust too big and the prblems could be anywhere.

Considering how much damage viruses and other malware cause computer systems around the world, if Microsoft could find it all, don't you think they would have done it by now?

I don't even need to call the number to know what will happen if I do. I'll get somebody with an Indian accent answering the phone who will then ask me what kind of computer I have. If I tell him/her, they'll begin what they'll tell you is the "virus removal process", which is actually their attempt to get you to give them control of your computer. It's a bit complicated to explain, but there's in no virus hijacking your computer, it's a simply, annoying program that convinces you to call them so that they can con you into giving them control of your computer.

So, you don't have anything to worry about. Just don't call that number from your own phone.

If you want to hit them back, here's my suggestion:
1) write down the number they gave you to call;
2) go to a pay phone and call the number. It's toll free, so it won't cost you anything;
3) when they answer, tell them that you got the pop-up and recording. Make sure they identify themselves as the people the pop-up told you to call, because the scammers may abandon using the number at some point and you don't want to victimize an innocent person;
4) when they begin asking you for your computer information (type of computer, model number, etc), tell them "FUCK YOU!" over and over again. See how many times you can tell them "fuck you" before they hang-up. Try to say it to them 100 times. If you make it to a hundred, let me know in the Comments section below.
5) since it's a toll-free number, you can call them anytime you want. Call them and start abusing them whenever you need to let-off some steam. Just remember to use a pay phone, so that they can't call you back.

Moving on.

Duane Browning
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