Your BBB® is receiving calls daily from people who are having their important computer files held for ransom. Our advice is to never believe any pop-up messages on the computer, or phone calls stating there is a problem with your computer. I have also told callers that the only entity that can know if your computer is a danger to others is your Internet Service Provider. But what if you get a pop-up message claiming to be your ISP?
Tech criminals are using a new trick to steal your info. Instead of cold calls, they are sending fake pop-up messages that look like messages sent from your ISP.
These fake messages are created to look like they come from Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner. They say that they have detected malware on your computer. If left unattended, you could have issues with your documents, passwords, and credit card information. Some of the newer messages go a step further and say: “If left unresolved, you may be subject to PERMANENT ACCOUNT SUSPENSION as well as possible fines for network damage.” There is a phone number to call, and if you call, cons will try to talk you into allowing them access to your computer, tablet or phone. Once they have access, they will steal your sensitive information (passwords, bank account info, etc.). They are getting their victims by ad networks.
If you click on a malicious ad, you are redirected to a website that checks your computer’s IP address. With this info, cons can figure out what ISP you use, send you to a fake website, and customize the warning message to match your ISP. The computer industry, and especially Microsoft, has been trying to crack down on the perpetrators, but this is a long and slow process.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.