Fake Microsoft Support and Other Scams

Tech Support Scams

So you are browsing around for information like you normally do. Maybe it’s for that history class and you just need to find just one more article to use. Then all of a sudden your screen goes to a page telling you that your computer is locked due to an infection you have. No matter how many times you click on the Cancel or X button to close the window, your computer is locked and there is a voice telling you what happened. It says they are Microsoft and to call them in order to fix your computer otherwise it will stay locked. Deadline is tomorrow so calling that number will fix everything right?

Screenshot of another Microsoft Scam

Wrong. This is a scam that has been rampant for a while now and in some cases, your computer really isn’t infected. I say some cases because there is malware that exists that can do the same thing, except it’s much harder to get rid of, and these methods can actually result in drive-by-malware getting installed without you knowing. These scammers will pose as Microsoft Support, HP Support, or just Tech Support. Once you land on a malicious page or one that has been modified, you get redirected to a website that locks your browser window using a hidden dialogue window and clicking anywhere in the browser window could result in downloading malicious software.

How to get rid of this screen

In order to close this window and begin taking additional steps to protect your PC and your information, we will kill the browser’s running process in Task Manager. In order to do this you will need to press the following keys on your keyboard simultaneously: CTRL-SHIFT-ESC. Pressing those 3 keys on your keyboard will launch Task Manager. Another way to do so is to press CTRL-ALT-DELETE and then click Task Manager. Once Task Manager is open, you will need to click the browser you are using, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc., and then click END TASK. When you open the browser again, it may pop up a second time. Repeat those steps and when you open the browser again, it should be back to normal. If not, then your computer may actually be infected as the settings in your browser most likely have been changed due to malware on your PC. This is where our Repair Ninjas come in to eradicate the infection for you by calling us at 810-771-8682 or stop by our service center as soon as possible.

Killing Microsoft Edge in Task Manager

How to avoid these scams

The best way to avoid these scams is to pay close attention to the links you click on. Do not click on the first result that you see in a search engine like Bing Search or Google Search. The first result in most cases will either be an advertisement or a webpage that is similar to what you were trying to find. In some cases, those web pages may be fine, or they could be malicious. One way to be sure you are at the right place is to look at the URL or the web address of the page you are looking at.

Fake HP Support result in Bing Search
Fake HP Support website made to look legitimate with bogus domain name

For instance, HP’s website is www.hp.com with their support website being support.hp.com. The portion of the web address, www.[hp.com] which is in bold, is the domain name and is what you pay attention to. Best way to verify you have the right website, is to look at some documentation that you have that came with the product you purchased. A reputable company will have their website in many places of the documentation and even on the product like printers.

Real HP Support search result in Bing Search
Real HP Support Website – Look at the web address and the Digital Signature proving its authenticity

You can also avoid these pop ups by updating your bookmarks every now and then. Sometimes, you bookmark something and don’t view it until months or even years from when you created the bookmark. If the domain expired and was purchased by a nefarious user, what used to be a harmless website now might carry malware or redirect you to one of these tech support scam websites. Social media is full of shared links to articles, images, and videos. Some of those are not legitimate and can be a problem. If the URL (web address) is masked by a URL shortener, take into consideration of who posted it and take caution opening those and you wont know where it goes until you click on it.

Our Repair Ninjas are here to help

If you are getting these pop ups even if the browser is not open, you computer has malware installed and it needs to be eradicated. Our certified Repair Ninjas are here to help you with virus removal and other computer repairs. Call us immediately if there is new software that is on your computer you did not install after getting some weird pop ups or if you called the number that came up and let the scammer control your computer. If the scammers gain access remotely, they can install all types of malware to scrape your information and try to trick you into giving them money. Key thing to remember is Microsoft, HP, Google, Dell, etc. will NOT prompt you to call them, EVER using these methods. Nor will they call you to inform you of your computer being compromised.

We strongly recommend inquiring about our Managed Anti-Malware solution where we provide you with award-winning Anti-Malware software and remotely manage it to ensure it stays up to date and routine scans are not missed. This provides you with added peace of mind and you also get discounts on the rest of our technical support services.

Call CompuNinjas today and secure your PC!