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Don't Fall for It: Tech Support Popup Scam

Have you ever been browsing the web and suddenly a window pops up, flashing warnings about viruses or claiming your computer is compromised? These alarming alerts often come with urgent instructions to call a tech support number or download software. But before we panic and reach for our wallet, take a deep breath. We're likely dealing with a tech support popup scam.

[to watch the complete ANVCS.org class regarding security threats click here!]

Understanding A Tech Support Popup scam

These deceptive popups are designed to scare us into thinking there's a serious problem with our device. They prey on our fear and try to trick us into:

  • Paying for unnecessary tech support: Scammers posing as tech experts will offer to "fix" the non-existent issue for a fee.

  • Downloading malware: The "solution" they provide could be malicious software that installs viruses or steals our information.

  • Revealing personal information: They might ask for our credit card details, login credentials, or other sensitive data.

graphic tech support popup scam
Sample Popup Scam

Common Tech Support Popup Scam Tactics

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Urgent warnings and threats: The popup uses alarming language and scare tactics to pressure us into acting quickly.

  • Fake error messages: The messages may mimic legitimate warnings from our operating system or antivirus software.

  • Suspicious phone numbers: They urge us to call a number that is not associated with a reputable company.

  • Locked browser: The popup may take over our browser, making it difficult to close or navigate away.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Never call the number on the popup: Legitimate tech companies like McAfee, Microsoft, and Apple won't tell us to call them about our device being compromised.

  • Don't click on any links: They could lead to malicious websites.

  • Close the pop up or browser: If we can't close it normally, try force-quitting our browser or restarting our computer.

  • Keep antivirus software updated: It can help detect and block malware.

  • Be wary of unsolicited tech support calls: Never give out personal information or remote access to our computer unless we initiated the contact.

  • Clean Browser Cookies: Go to browser settings, security, and clean your cookies, browser history and cache or use a tool like Ccleaner.  Be sure we know our passwords because we will be logged out of our accounts including email access in the browser.

Remember: If unsure whether a popup is legitimate, it's always best to err on the side of caution. Reach out to a trusted tech support provider or a knowledgeable friend for help.

AnewVista Community Services: We're here to help seniors navigate the ever-changing world of technology. Feel free to contact us for further assistance or information on our senior-focused technology workshops! 

Watch our class on security threats and our discussion on tech support popup scams by clicking here!

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Thanks for the security tip. Been tricked once its scary!😗

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