So you're happily scrolling through your email or Facebook and suddenly flashing lights, loud sirens and maybe some talking heads start coming out of your computer. Then a message pops up telling you of the devastation that's befallen your computer and instructing you to contact some official-looking support company for immediate help. What now?
Shut off your computer. Hold the power button in for about 10 seconds and it will go off, I promise you. DO NOT CALL ANY NUMBER THAT POPS UP ON YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN. It's a scam - it's a scam - it's a scam, all day - every day.
Many of us are tripping across the scam triggers lately, and some call the number because:
- We're scared
- We want to believe someone wants to help us
- We want instant gratification, and calling someone we trust would take too long.
- We think we'll get it fixed cheaper
If this happens to you, don't panic. Shut off the computer, then contact someone you trust. I have talked with at least a dozen people about this already this week and have charged none of them to tell them how to handle it. If I need to connect to your computer to clean it out, that's a different matter.
If you want to clean it out yourself, go to Nick Francesco's excellent step-by-step instructions here: http://securitytango.com/windows.php. Or, at least update and run CCleaner, AdwCleaner, SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes, removing anything they find.
Or contact me and I'll help you. Cathy Contant 315-573-4905
Please help your friends and family - tell them not to call numbers that pop up on their computer screens and not to give out any personal information to unknown callers. You'll be helping all of us.