NewsLocal News


Is the pop-up on your computer real or are scammers targeting you?

Posted at 6:35 AM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 08:35:04-05

The Let Joe Know Team sees dozens of emails each week asking about a pop-up or error message on their computer. The messages often ask you to pay to upgrade your software, or to regain access to a "frozen" account.

These are almost always scams!

Neil reached out the the Let Joe Know Team saying he got a message on his laptop after it froze. The message said he had to pay $300 to fix it. Two days later, it still wasn't fixed. So, Neil spent more. Scammers took him for a total of $1,700.

Here's the thing - big name companies like Microsoft or Google will not call or message you, and real error messages will never have a number for you to call.

"Threat actors typically want you to sit in front of your computer, change settings, alter your computer in order for them to compromise it," said Morey Haber, a cyber-security expert with BeyondTrust.

Haber says the best way to stop these scammers is to make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. He also says to update your computer on a regular basis to make sure you have all the latest security patches.

"When you come across one of these pop-ups or voice phishing attacks, the best thing to do is just hang up and close the window. If need be, reboot your computer," said Haber.

This is expected to be a big scam in 2020!

Companies like Microsoft have a website to report these scams and get help preventing future ones. For more information, click here.