Technical Support Scams are not limited to just Phony calls or phishing e-mails. You might be seeing a pop-up warning while browsing online, saying that your PC is infected with some viruses or any other dire statements and needs to be treated with caution.
Your security software does not generate these Pop-Up Tech Support Scam Messages – anything that tells you to give a call on a phone number available on the pop-up, or pay for a protection plan, or click on a “scan now” button is a scam. This pop-up might say that your system has viruses on it but based on a real scan on your device, it’s nothing at all. Scammers want you to click on the button or make you call on the phone number available.
What Are Fake Pop-Ups Messages?
Websites generate pop-ups to offer additional information or prompt you when you want to back away from a form, or something malicious is going on with the web page. But some of these pop-ups are harmful and unwanted – these dangerous pop-ups are usually fake. Some fake pop-ups are designed to lure you into clicking on a button that takes you to an infected website, where some fake pop-ups will appear telling you that there are viruses on your system.
Fake pop-ups may appear in your browser due to you clicking on something malicious over the internet, or they may be produced by adware or some malware programs previously installed on your device.
Adware is something that you might have downloaded accidentally, possibly by clicking on a malicious advert mistake. Some websites contain multiple download buttons, but only one is real, whereas others are fake and might contain adware. An attachment can also install Adwares on an email or through a link in a spam email.
How Do Pop-up Scams work?
Ransomware-detected pop-ups (Fake Pop-Ups) inform users about a security threat or a technical problem with their device. Fake pop-ups instruct users that their device is infected, and to resolve this threat, you need to call the given Phone Number.
Scammers make these pop-ups themselves and use these pop-up scams to make money. Scammers usually prey on concerned security people and young and old ones.
How To Identify Fake Pop-Ups?
Now that you understand what fake pop-ups are, let’s discuss how can you spot fake pop-ups:
Lookout for Unprofessional Images or Spelling Mistakes
Identifying a fake pop-up is relatively easy; you need to look closely at the information being displayed on the pop-up. If there are images, they might be pixelated, which no professional website use.
Also, Poor spelling or weird grammar suggests that the pop-up is fake.
Compare Pop-Ups With Any Legitimate Notification
Fake pop-ups usually claim to be about malware infecting your device, or your device is locked in a few seconds, and so on. You should be able to differentiate between a Legitimate notification from your browser or antivirus and a fake pop-up.
Getting familiar with a legitimate notification that usually appears because of your internet browser or anti-virus is essential as it will help you spot a fake pop-up.
If you are still in doubt, you should ignore the pop-up and scan your computer with your anti-virus help.
Try To Turn Off Your Browser
Fake pop-ups usually switch your browser to full-screen mode and slow down your device by increasing your web browser’s ram and CPU usage. If your browser is on full-screen mode and you see a suspicious pop-up, you can minimize the web browser or close your browser.
If minimizing or closing your browser is impossible, you should restart your device and not restore the webpages. It would be best if you never interacted with a pop-up, do not click on any buttons except the X button to close it.
Always Verify The Phone Number
Almost all the fake pop-ups have a phone number present on the pop-ups and inform you about malware detection and instruct you to call the phone number to resolve the threat. If the pop-up is from a renowned company, you should cross-check the Phone number against the Official Website Number.
Another way to verify any Phone Number is to search it on your Search Engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. You can verify Legitimate Company Phone Numbers in the search. Still, if you are not able to verify the phone numbers, then it is a scam.
No Legitimate Company Asks Demands You Call Them
No Legitimate Company or their Technical Support asks you to call them over the phone, especially not via pop-ups.
Anti-virus and Internet Security Software never asks you to call anyone as they resolve all the security threats by themselves. If any pop-up demands you to contact a phone number to fix a security threat, it is likely a scam.
How To Remove Fake Pop-Ups
This section will discuss how you can remove tech support pop-up scams from your browser.
If a pop-up locks your Web browser detected as ransomware or any other fake pop-up which has locked your browser on a full screen. It would help if you closed your browser on full-screen mode. If that is not possible, you can use the Task Manager to close your Web Browser.
To open Task Manager, you can select Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager. Highlight your Web Browser in the Process Tab. After selecting, go to the Task Manager’s bottom right side click on End Task to close the Browser.
If the pop-ups do not stop after restarting the browser, your PC is infected with Adware. You need to follow the below-mentioned steps to remove the adware:
- Download and Install any Anti-Virus
- Disconnect your device from the internet to prevent further interference from the Adware
- Reboot your device into Safe Mode
- Use Disk Cleanup to remove any Temporary Files.
- Access your Anti-Virus and Run a Full-Scan.
- If any adware is found, you need to delete or quarantine the files.
- Reboot the computer.
- Change any Password that you think might have been compromised (Use a Password Manager).
- Update your Operating System, Application, and Web Browser.
- Rescan your computer to check for any other malware.
Different Types Of Fake Pop-Ups
There are different types of fake pop-ups that scammers use to extract money from your accounts.
AppleCare Renewal Pop-Up
This Pop-Up scam affects MacOs users. This scam informs the user that there is a problem with their device, and the user needs to contact Apple Support on the number (fake number) available on the pop-up.
Users who call the number are made to think that they are talking to Apple Support and are tricked into paying the scammers by creative tactics.
Fake Police Pop-Ups
These Pop-Ups are rare, but they show pop-ups claiming to be from Law Enforcement. The Scammers trick users into calling a number to avoid any criminal proceedings or give over personal information to help with an investigation.
Microsoft Blue Screen Of Death
Blue Screen Of Death is the famous error message on Microsoft Windows when there is a Hardware Malfunction. Scammers have duplicated the error and linked it with a pop-up. So as soon as you click on the pop-up, your Web Browser would go to Fullscreen and shows you the blue screen of death, and asks you to call a Phone Number to resolve the issue.