Some of you may remember the golden age of rogue antivirus software (AKA FakeAV) circa 2008. These programs that were often pushed via aggressive advertising and bundlers were designed to look like security scanners. However, they were stuffed with intentional fake detections for all sorts of Trojans and Worms.
The business model was simple but yet effective. By using scare tactics to trick people into believing their computers were severely infected, the crooks were able to make millions of dollars selling license keys for the bogus software.
Fast forward to 2016 and some tech support scammers are using the same lure, although there is no actual fake software installed on the machine, simply a screenshot of it on a webpage, displaying those made up infections.
The image was ripped off from rogue AV Antivirus System 2011, so you could say that it is slightly outdated.
Rather than enticing people to buy a license key to remove the fake infections, this one instructs users to call a toll-free number for assistance. What happens next is classic tech support scam text book, with online crooks taking remote control of the victims’ PC and selling a ‘tech support plan’ for hundreds of dollars.
While we may have a chuckle seeing this, it’s good to remember that it is nonetheless a scam and that people will fall for it. The majority of these pop ups are harmless and closing the browser normally or forcefully will get you back on your feet.