Scareware is on the Rise - Protect Yourself

What is scareware
Scareware is malicious software (malware) that tries to convince the computer user (through fear and scare tactics) that their computer is infected with a virus. The scareware then suggests that the user download, and pay for, antivirus software to remove the fake virus. The downloaded antivirus software is a fake, and completely non-functional. The result is that the user has been scammed out of their money, and the credit/debit card used to pay for the software is now compromised.
Figure 1: Example of scare conducting a fake scan
 
 
How it spreads
Users surfing to a website can be hit with a pop-up window, indicating that their pc is infected with a virus. Some pop-ups are designed to look just like the user’s operating system, which increases the likelihood that a user will click on and activate the scareware.
Figure 2: Popup using scare tactics to trick the user
 
Search engines have also been “poisoned” with deceptive search results, but a close inspection will usually reveal that these results are false.
Figure 3: A poisoned search result. Note the words "sesame street"
 
How to avoid it
Even though clicking on “Cancel” is all it takes to activate the scareware, the best way to avoid getting infected is to call immediately close your browser. If you begin experiencing “pop-ups” telling you that your computer is infected, call your computer tech immediately.

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