That popup warning offering to clean your computer did NOT come from the FTC!
Who Is It Targeting: Tech users
What Is It: Tech support scam that claims to come from a government agency
What Are They After: The Federal Trade Commission works to protect consumers in a wide variety of ways, and one recent case is going after people who claim to be their employees. Popup warnings that state your computer is infected and needs to be cleaned are a well-known scam, but this one actually originated as an email from someone claiming to be hired by the FTC.
The agency successfully sued the scammer and has ordered him to shut down all of his websites and phone numbers that are used for this kind of fraud.
How Can You Avoid It:
- Don’t fall for tech support scams: no one is “watching” your computer to see if it’s infected unless you specifically signed up for the service.
- Never click on a pop-up box that claims your computer has a virus, offering to clean it.
- Clicking on the button the “clean” the computer is actually what installs the virus
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Federal Trade Commission.