Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
Fake anti-virus software called ’scareware’ pops up in your browser and begins to scan your hard-drive made to look like a legitimate scan. It often grabs a screenshot of your “My Computer” window mimicking your PCs characteristics then tricking you into clicking on links. Pop-ups bombard you and warn you that your PC is infected with an Ebola- like virus and your PC will die a horrible death with fluids running from all ports if you don’t fix it immediately for $49.95.
Information Week reports those behind a new fake antivirus software have added a new social engineering element — live support agents who will try to convince potential victims that their PCs are infected and that payment is the cure.
The rougue software comes equipped with a customer support link leading to a live session with the bad guy. Real scammers on the other end of chat have the ability to offer live remote access support instructed by support to click a link initiating remote access to their PC.
The best way to prevent seeing a pop-up for scareware is using the latest Firefox or Internet Exploer browser. An updated browser lets few, if any pop-ups through. No pop-ups, no scareware. If you are using another browser and a pop-up –pops-up, shut down your browser. If the pop-up won’t let you shut it down, do a Ctrl-Alt-Delete and shut down the browser that way. Never click links in pop-ups. If the pop-ups are out of your control, do a hard shutdown before you start clicking links.
Protect your identity.
1. Get a credit freeze and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes your Social Security number useless to a potential identity thief.
2. Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing Breach of 3.3 million Social Security numbers on Good Morning America.