On Your Side Alert: Twist to old scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There is a new twist to an old scam. Instead of cyber criminals calling you, claiming to be Microsoft Support, now they've got you calling them.

You get one of those bogus calls claiming your computer is infected. The caller tells you they are with Microsoft and can fix the problem, for about 275 dollars.  Kevin Boynton, with Computer Doctors of Richmond says, hopefully you just hang up. " It's all bogus. There is no way they can detect that offsite and they have no intentions or they don't work with anybody that you have business with," he explains.

The word is spreading about the hoax. It's one reason Boynton says cyber criminals are now using fake pop-ups. "It is saying that your computer has been infected, we can help and it tries to get you to call them. So rather than them cold calling at random, trying to get somebody that is a victim, they try and get the victims to come to them," Boynton says.

Another twist, you may see a disclaimer in the malicious ad that tells you, it is not connected with Microsoft. Boynton says the message has no weight and is an attempt to make the scam seem legit. "It is bogus and most importantly, they put it in a way where you are not going to see it unless you are really looking for something," he explains.

Cyber experts say simply clicking the ad can infect your computer and it attacks both Mac and Windows-based systems. If you get one of these pop-ups, definitely don't call the number and take action to protect yourself. "Immediately close your browser. You should probably go ahead and reboot your computer just to be sure and when you come back in, make sure you run your Antivirus . Make sure you check for Windows updates and make sure your computer is running secure and if you are not sure, you can call a professional," Boynton says.

The scams usually originate overseas. If you fall for it, crooks will gain access and remotely control your computer. "They are typically not trying to go after your bank account information or your tax information or even Facebook or anything like that. Typically, they are just trying to get a quick buck from you," he says.

The best advice, surf with caution, and keep your Antivirus and computer programs updated. But the reality is, crooks are already working on the next scam.

"There have been scam artist out there since the beginning of time and there will be cyber scam artists forever," Boynton says. Remember, you can always report internet scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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