Computer viruses are scary. Tech support scammers exploit that fear, claiming your computer or mobile device is dangerously ill and needs an immediate, costly cure. These scams start with an unsolicited phone call or a pop-up warning on your device, claiming to be from Microsoft, Norton, or other related company, warning of grave problems. The goal is to persuade you to allow them to remotely connect with your device and then convince you they find something terrible. What they are really doing could involve installing malware to harvest personal information and logins or convincing you to pay for expensive repair and protection (fake and fake).
Bottom line, the urgent phone call or popup message is a sham. Don’t answer (or hang up immediately if you do), and to rid your screen of the message (which often accompanies a screeching alarm), exit out of your browser or do a hard shut down. Keep your operating systems and security software up-to-date to keep real viruses and malware out.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.