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I’ve noticed an uptick recently in the frequency of a particular scam. It’s been around for a while, since about 2008. The scam basically goes like this: an infected web page will generate a pop-up window (see the picture above) stating that your computer is at risk, has a virus infection, or your personal information is not secure. The pop-up window will present a telephone number for you to call to have a “support technician” remove the virus or fix the issue for you.

The good news is: as long as you do not call the phone number provided, you are likely fine. In most cases, the code that generates the pop-up window is executed from the infected web page and not your computer. This means, you can simply power off your computer and power it back on to get the pop-up to go away. However, if the pop-up window persists or appears on a known-safe web page, it is possible your system has a browser hijacker or other malware installed.

If you call the phone number in the pop-up window, the “technician” will try to gain access to your computer to complete the “repair”. Here’s were the scam can become malicious. If you let them remotely connect to your computer and then refuse to pay them for the “repairs”, they will often times delete files or device drivers from your system or change your login password. This can cause all kinds of problems.

Always practice safe web browsing habits and be aware of scams like this. However, if you’ve fallen victim to this scam and your computer is no longer operating properly, we can perform a virus removal for you – a real virus removal.