I received an unwanted Valentine’s gift from some scammers. Let me tell you what happened, so you can be on the lookout in case something similar happens to you. I was using Google Chrome. In fact, I was writing a tutorial about Google Chrome. Then it happened. Suddenly this popped up on my screen!
My computer also started talking to me. It said that Microsoft had detected a virus and that I had to call them immediately. If I didn’t call them immediately, I would start losing files. My credit card details were now being transmitted to hackers and my Facebook information was now being shared publicly. Fortunately, I’m familiar with these types of scams, so I knew that it wasn’t legitimate.
I was told to call the number shown on the screen. The copy also warns that your computer access will be disabled if you try to close the window before calling the number displayed on the screen. The pop-up uses Microsoft’s colors and the Microsoft logo. And the recorded message keeps on screaming at you that your PC is in big trouble.
And there’s this, it’s impossible to close the browser by just shutting it down the regular way. It does appear that your PC is locked up. Your PC is not, it’s just the browser, but it sure seems that way. It also screams an unpleasant sound at you if you try to shut it down. I closed it down with Task Manager, but it opened right back up to the screaming warning.
Just for the heck of it, I called the number and played along for a little bit as the guy tried to get me to give him access to my computer. I eventually told him I knew he was a scammer and I would be writing an article about his scam. Then I hung up.
He called me back, not once, but twice. He wanted to convince me that it wasn’t a scam and that he was indeed from Microsoft. I imagine this harassment is standard procedure if they don’t get your credit card number. I ended up blocking the number. I ran my anti-virus, Malwarebytes, and Bitdefender and they didn’t find anything on my PC. I ended up just restarting the PC to take care of the problem. Chrome was just fine after that.
But this is certainly a scam to be on the lookout for. For some folks that screaming warning is enough to induce a panic which leads to them calling that number before they even think. Don’t be fooled. Make sure you warn your friends and relatives about this scam.
I did enjoy letting the dude have it when he called me back. But that was the only enjoyable part.