PC Matic – The Bogus Virus Experts
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Imagine this alert showing up on your screen. Scary thought, right? This message, and one’s similar, are intended to scare users and force them into acting promptly by calling the toll-free number listed in the alert to fix the issue identified. The problem is, these alerts are completely bogus. There is nothing wrong […]
Imagine this alert showing up on your screen. Scary thought, right?
This message, and one’s similar, are intended to scare users and force them into acting promptly by calling the toll-free number listed in the alert to fix the issue identified. The problem is, these alerts are completely bogus. There is nothing wrong with the computer, therefore there is no need to fix anything.
Over approximately the last year, PC Matic has conducted extensive research regarding this particular tech support scam, deeming it the Bogus Virus Scam.
About the Bogus Virus
This bogus virus scam aims to trick users into believing that their computer or device needs to be fixed with unnecessary and costly technical support services. The alert messages create a sense of urgency, making users believe they must call quickly to remediate the problem. They also aim to increase a sense of legitimacy by using a well-known brand, like Microsoft in the alert. Please note, a legitimate Microsoft notification will not include a phone number.
But how does it worm its way onto a computer? Scammers have succeeded in getting an advertisement or pop-up into a user’s browser, probably during a freeware download, which will generate the above alert.
Once a user calls them they’ll want a large payment or subscription fee to “fix” the computer. They also may offer to sell the user an bogus antivirus program, or some other unneeded service.
In order to install these applications, or “fix” the device, they will request authorization to remotely access the computer. Using remote access, these experienced scammers can misrepresent normal system output as signs of problems. It’s nothing but a scam to get your money, credit card information and access to your computer.
PC Matic CEO, Rob Cheng, decided to play along with one of the scammers. Check it out below:
How They’re Getting Away with It
The hoax uses what appears to be legitimate phone numbers to build trust with the victim. However, the scam often originates from a country, which will not cooperate with law or regulatory enforcement agencies trying to identify these scammers.
PC Matic has found, most of these fake tech support numbers are directed to one main center which modifies their Urgent Alert messages with new 1-800 numbers every couple of weeks. In just the last three months, PC Matic has tracked 140 different phone numbers tied to the bogus virus scam.
Avoid Falling Victim
Wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to receive these messages at all?
Last year, PC Matic recognized the bogus virus problem and added a feature to their adblocking technology that has proven to effectively and proactively block these threats. In just the last three months, PC Matic has blocked 4,128 of these scams; up to 450 per day. Fortunately, with PC Matic’s superior adblocking technology, users can rest assured in knowing they are protected and won’t be subject to these stressful and potentially invasive and costly tactics.
For those not using PC Matic, there is a way to rid a computer of the scam, after it has populated. In order to do so, complete the following steps:
- Hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys
- Choose “Task Manager”
- Click on the browser you were using
- Select “End Task”
This will close out the browser. Users may then open the browser again, which should no longer have the alert populate.
Published on 18 May 2018 at 06:36PM