Technical support scammers still pretend to be from Microsoft
Security experts report about the increased activity of online scams in the first months of 2018. While technical support scams are the most popular hoaxes, researchers also report to watch out for survey scams which aim at personal information.
One of the most active scams at the moment delivers a Microsoft System Security Alert warning. The threatening pop-up is displayed by a compromised website to which users are typically redirected after adware infiltration.
This tech support scam warns about problems with Windows and claims that computer is locked; only “Microsoft Windows Help Desk” can fix this problem. Receiving such message might be terrifying for some users. However, crooks want to scare people even more.
“Microsoft System Security Alert” scam website also plays an audio message. Though, hearing someone talking about locked computer and seeing security warning might easily shock less skilled computer users who might immediately grab their phones.
“Windows Warning Alert” scam warns about privacy-related issues
Windows Warning Alert scam is very similar to “Microsoft Windows Help Desk” hoax. However, this time scammers use social engineering techniques to convince people that their privacy is at risk due to spyware or riskware infiltration.
The scam message is also delivered on a fake website which uses Microsoft’s color scheme. In the pop-up, users are warned about the risk to lose financial data, Facebook and email login details, credit card information, and photos saved on the computer.
However, technical support staff can solve all of these problems if a victim calls them in 5 minutes. If you ignore the fact that security alerts are not delivered in the browser, the urge to grab a phone and make a call should raise your suspicions that something is shady.
Indeed, neither Microsoft nor Windows display warning about detected malware on the browser’s screen. Also, they do not have a phone support line for home computer users. It doesn’t matter what number you might see on the screen; it’s clear that it belongs to cyber criminals.
Authors of survey scams do not care about your opinion; they want your personal information
In the first two months of 2018, researchers noticed an increase in survey scams too. There are numerous versions of these types of scams. Some of them congratulate you on winning a new iPhone, a gift from Amazon or similar goods. However, claiming the prize is not that simple. Users are asked to fill numerous surveys, downloading apps or entering their phone numbers.
Survey scams are promoted via adware programs too. However, redirect to Please complete a quick survey to continue, or similar site might occur when users browse through insecure or infected websites. Usually, illegal video streaming, adult-themed or gaming sites redirect users to websites asking to fill suspicious questionnaires.
The purpose of these scams is not to know your opinion on a specific topic or give an expensive gift for free. These hoaxes are used for getting personal user’s information, such as email, phone number or other personally identifiable information.
Thus, you should stay away from suspicious surveys or security alerts popping up on your browser. If redirects to scam websites continue, you should run a full system scan with anti-malware software. Increased amounts of ads, redirects to fake tech support sites or survey scam websites often identify about adware infection.