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Anti-Virus scam

An anti-virus scam is a scheme that tries to trick you into thinking your computer is infected with a virus, so you’ll pay money for useless or even harmful software.

Here’s how it typically works:

  • You see a pop-up warning on your screen saying your computer is infected with a bunch of scary viruses.
  • These pop-ups can be very realistic, and they often try to create a sense of urgency to make you panic.
  • The pop-up might even try to disable your real anti-virus software to make it seem even more convincing.
  • If you click on the link in the pop-up, it’ll take you to a fake website that looks like a real security company.
  • The website will then try to pressure you into buying their fake antivirus software, or they might ask you to call a tech support number where they’ll try to scam you over the phone.

Here are some things to keep in mind to avoid falling victim to an anti-virus scam:

  • Don’t trust pop-up warnings. Legitimate antivirus software won’t bombard you with scare tactics.
  • If you’re worried about a virus, run a scan with your real antivirus software. Most reputable antivirus programs will offer a free scan.
  • Don’t click on links in pop-up warnings. If you’re unsure if a pop-up is real, close it by clicking the “x” in the corner.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to someone you don’t know and trust.

Scareware pop-ups: These pop-ups appear on your screen, often mimicking legitimate security software warnings. They’ll try to scare you with messages about viruses or critical system failures and pressure you to click a link to fix the problem. Clicking the link can download malware onto your computer or take you to a fake website where they try to sell you useless antivirus software.

Phishing emails: These emails will be disguised as messages from a well-known antivirus company, like Norton or McAfee. They might claim your subscription is expiring or there’s suspicious activity on your account. The email will then try to trick you into clicking a link or downloading an attachment that can steal your personal information.

Fake phone calls: You might get a call from someone claiming to be from your antivirus company’s tech support. They’ll warn you about viruses or other problems and pressure you to give them remote access to your computer. Once they have access, they can install malware, steal your data, or lock you out of your own files and demand a ransom to get them back.

Suspicious software promotions: Be wary of unsolicited offers for free antivirus software, especially if they come through pop-up ads or unknown websites. Downloading this software could actually infect your computer with malware.

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