You are surfing the web, minding your own business, when suddenly a browser window pops up saying you have a virus on your computer. A phone number is provided, and you are urged to call it for support. It looks scary. It looks official. It’s a scam. You have discovered a scareware popup.
What is Scareware?
Also called fraudware, deception software, or rogue scanner software, scareware appears as a legitimate alert from an antivirus company claiming your computer’s security has been compromised. Sometimes an audible voice will play through your computer’s speakers, issuing a warning that your immediate attention is required. A phone number or website link is provided in the body of the alert. In the case of browser popups, you may not be able to close the browser by normal methods, as it will appear frozen. All of this is a scam to scare users into purchasing bogus or malicious software, or allowing remote access to fraudsters who can steal personal information.
How to Manage Scareware
Do not panic! It is only a fraudulent popup. Legitimate companies do not use this type of tactic to sell their products. As long as you do not click on a link or call the number provided, your computer will not be compromised. The best thing to do is simply restart your computer and reopen the browser, making sure not to restore pages (if prompted to do so). If you receive another such popup immediately upon opening your browser, contact your IT company for support. Clients of EIT Networks can email firstname.lastname@example.org to generate a ticket automatically, and one of our technicians will reach out to you as quickly as possible.