Beware the Tech Support Pop-Up Scam

scam page image from MalwareBytes

scam page image from MalwareBytes

Once again there are reports of the scam that went around some time ago where you are innocently (at least we presume you are) browsing the Internet when a pop-up window reports that your ISP HAS BLOCKED YOUR PC. It even gives a helpful, though completely bogus, error #268D3. If you call the number (PLEASE DON’T) you will be asked to provide credit card information so they can fix your PC. All of this is, of course, a scam to rob you of your money and your credit card information.

The reason this is happening (again) is because of a newly exploited browser bug. The scam technique works by abusing a particular programming interface and rapidly saving a small file to disk repeatedly, so fast that it’s impossible to see what’s going on. The end result is your browser becomes completely unresponsive, panic sets in, and you wonder whether you should actually call the number to get it fixed. Don’t. Instead, close the browser down completely.

If you are unable to close the browser, you may need to use Task Manager. You should be able to right click on your taskbar and choose Task Manager from there. Ctl+Shift+Esc should also open it. If not, press Ctrl+Alt+Del and choose Task Manager from the list. Then click on the browser name and choose End Task. Once your browser is closed, reopen it — but DON’T allow it to reload the last page you were on.

If you’re not able to do any of that, call the helpful person you usually call when you need this kind of help.

You have somehow picked up some malware and it needs to be removed before you can use your computer normally. Here is a link to Malware Tips that will help with this process:

Both Chrome and Firefox users (which means almost everyone) are vulnerable and both browser companies are reportedly working on a fix. So, be sure you are updating that browser regularly.

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