11 Jan 2012

Fake antivirus scam accounts for 70 to 80 percent of scams

A scam in which fake antivirus software is sold to unsuspecting internet users reached "epidemic proportions" last year in Canada, according to Moneyville, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of frauds reported daily, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said.

"You get a call from someone who says your computer is at risk of crashing because of a virus or malicious software," the news source said. "The caller may suggest he or she works for Microsoft and is aware of issues with your Windows operating system.You may be asked to open a program called Windows Events Viewer, whose contents are worrisome. They look like a long list of errors, some labelled critical. The caller offers to guide you through the steps to fixing it."

When a call like this is received, Royal Canadian Mounted Police staff Sgt. Paul Proulx told Moneyville people should hang up right away and never give the caller credit card or access code information.

Herb Weisbaum writes on MSNBC that it's best to think about any situation before downloading anything. Also, for pop-ups, he said to go to Windows Task Manager and delete the rogue program. If that doesn't work, he said get professional help. Users should install internet security software to help guard from these fake pop-ups.