Computer Pop-up Window Virus Scam
On March 7, 2018, a resident reported that they were scammed out of $199 by a scammer claiming her computer had a virus. The victim, an elderly woman, was browsing the internet when a pop-up window appeared claiming her computer had a virus. The window was accompanied by audio of a voice also saying that her computer had a virus and instructions to call a phone number for assistance in fixing it. She called the phone number and provided her credit card number to pay $199 to have her computer “fixed”. Family members advised her that this was a known scam and she reported the incident to the police.
Her family members were correct. These virulent pop-up windows are known scams. They seek to scare unknowing internet users into believing their computer has a virus. They often direct the user to download software which gives the scammer complete control of their computer. The scammer then can install additional malicious software (i.e. real viruses) and extort the victim to pay to have their computer “fixed”.
As with most scams reported to our department, the victim in this scam was elderly. Legitimate antivirus software does not prompt users to call support to have their computers fixed.