Windows users know there’s nothing more likely to induce panic than seeing the dreaded “blue screen of death” on your PC. The BSOD indicates there’s a serious problem going on with your PC. Now, scammers have found a way to use the dreaded blue screen to trick you into calling a fake tech support number.
Here’s how the scam works. First, crooks trick you with a fake Microsoft Security Essentials Installer which actually installs malware known as Hicurdismos.
Security Essentials is an anti-malware product for Windows 7. Windows 8 and 10 use Windows Defender, so there’s no need for Security Essentials. If you want Security Essentials for your Windows 7 device, go to Microsoft to install, don’t just click on a random pop-up. If you choose the fake Security Essentials installer, you’ll see warnings like these:
That will not happen with a genuine Security Essentials download. This sneaky malware pops up a fake blue screen of death message that looks like this. The malware hides your mouse cursor, so your PC appears to be locked up, plus it disables your task manager, so you can’t just press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to close the pop-up.
It looks pretty close to the real thing, but there’s one glaring difference. It includes a number to call tech support. Real errors from Microsoft NEVER include a tech support number to call. A real BSOD just has the error number. If you call the fake tech support number, they’ll ask for your credit card number and access to your PC. The crooks will now have access to your bank account and your private information.
If this fake screen pops up on your PC, try hitting the Windows key to bring up the start menu and then arrow your way to Windows Defender or another anti-malware program installed on your PC to run a scan to remove it.