Web Scams


Well, today I’m pissed off.  Why you ask, well I was looking at my Facebook account and friends sent me a story that I might be interested in looking at and I went to look at it and it immediately said I needed a new version of Adobe Flash.  Not a too surprising message because Adobe does come out with new versions of their software often and I don’t use it much so it seemed reasonable that I would need a newer version.  It started to downloaded and then asked me to click okay to additional software that I might like to load as well. Like a Program to clean my computer, or one to run my computer faster all legitimate types of programs.  I just clicked, I decline on the boxes because this computer I was working on has limited amount of space and I don’t want any type of additional software. I only have the bare bones software required on it. Then to my surprise when I clicked the Home Button on my Internet Browser it took me to a new home page with a new Web Browser.  Now many people that use the computer this does not mean a thing. But if you have a reasonable amount of computer expertise you would have recognized that it had changed out your Web Browser with a new one and installed a program called a Botnet, Botcrawler, adware, malware, or Hijacker program in the background. If you are particular to the Web Browser that you want to use and this happens, it becomes irritating and you know how to fix it by removing it and reestablishing your preferred browser.  It is a hassle, but you do it. For users that don’t really understand what is happening, let me give you an idea of what is happening. When you clicked on a picture news story, video that someone has suggested you may be interested in this is what goes on. It installs this new browser and in the background it installs one of these botnets, crawlers or any number of things that can screw up your computer and make it slow.  While it distracts you with asking to load these additional programs and then finally come to the program it said you needed to upgrade to view the video that you wanted to see. What you have done unknowingly in installed what is called a Browser helper program. Now this sounds like a good thing but let me tell you it is not.  What it is doing is it is now scouring your hard drive for Personal Information that it may be able to find. Things such as Passwords, User IDs, IP addresses, business that you have bill paying with, credit card numbers, phone numbers, any type of information to get access to your computer from another computer.  Now it may even go to the extent that it will even scare you by popping up a message like the one below:

Scam Message

Now this may seem legit and you can go “Oh my goodness I better call this and get this fixed with my carrier right away.”  Well it could have any type of carrier name there, ComCast, Dish, Direct, Century, HughesNet, but the phone number will not be to that company. It will be to a scam company that is trying like hell to get as much information from you as they can. They will tell you they are from Microsoft, or another reputable company but they are not. So what do you do? First quit calling me when you do this to come fix your computer!  You can call Geek Squad or some other place to fix it for you and pay a lot of money. Or you can do a few things to help yourself first. Like don’t Panic, for one. Next make sure that you have your firewalls, virus scanning software, Malware software in place in the network security on your computer.  Most computers when you purchase them install these right away and set them up for you.  If not check in the control panel and look for Windows Firewall, Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, Freefall Defender and last check you Programs and Features to see that you have Malwarebytes Anti-exploit and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed. These are just standard over the internet type of applications. There are many more from Norton, Kaspersky and others that provide software for this as well. But At least Malwarebytes you can download from FileHippo.com for free. Install Malwarebytes Anti-malware and run this program often. Any time you may suspect that you have downloaded something without realizing it or if your computer is running slowly. Now especially run this program if you have received a pop up message like the one shown above. When you call this number, (if you bother to) they will tell you lies from the get go. Do not believe anything they say. They will tell you they are from Microsoft, they are not. Microsoft will not ever call you out of the blue for any reason.  If by chance you get an unsolicited call from a company and they tell you they are from Microsoft and they want you to install a program, Do Not Do it. Microsoft will never call you. Probably even if you want them to call you, they will never call you and ask you to install software or check your settings. Nothing. These are scams. Now, I know this is long and may be hard for some people to do or follow but my intention in writing this is so that maybe you be will be a little bit wiser and a little bit smarter than theses thieves. They are ripping off a lot of people that cannot afford it. Don’t fall into their traps. I know that many of you have seen this type of messages elsewhere but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in because millions of dollars are going to these different scams from people that cannot afford to lose this money, time or hassle.

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