A reader wanted to alert us to a new variation on an old scam. “Hi Cynthia, After reading your article here, just had to let you know there is another “Scam ” that’s pretty scary. It was for me. While online, thought I was safe when this message appeared on my computer screen: Dear Daily Communication Customer(not the real name of the cable company), Your IP:**.***.*.*** has been detected with Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge 13.10586. Please call toll free number below for a certified technician to help you resolve the issue. 1-855-267-8490. there were more writings on my PC screen. Anyway, I let my guard down and didn’t know that my PC had been hacked until the person called me back and when I started asking questions they got mad and hung up. So I called my IT friend and told him what had happened and he asks me to bring my new PC to him and he fixed it for me. I was so thankful he fixed it and he told me that I wasn’t the only one that’s PC had been hacked in recent weeks.I had to go to my bank and close out my bank account, all personal information had to be deleted as well as new user id’s and passwords for most of the sites I visit. Afterward, I contacted Microsoft and gave them the phone numbers of these people as well as the whole conversation and everything that came up on my PC screen. It looked like it was really from my Cable company, I had no idea but I am now a lot more careful and hope something can be done.”

I’ve seen a version of this cable pop-up myself where it encourages you to take a survey presumably from your cable company and tries to direct you to their website.  Again, you always have to watch where you go. What’s funny is that the warning that popped up isn’t even an issue. Having your IP address detected by a browser is a typical part of using a computer, it’s not even a problem.

fake-cable-pop-up

And your PC doesn’t even need to have been hacked or compromised for this to happen. The faux tech support company can simply buy ads on a website and use information that’s supposed to be used to better target customers with products and insert those sneak ads. Or they can make it onto your PC thanks to sneaky adware that piggybacks onto other downloads. When that happens, it will pop up whenever you open a browser.

Here’s a hard and fast rule to go by. If a pop-up tells you that there’s an issue with your PC and you need to call a phone number or go to a website, it’s a lie. If someone calls you and tells you they’ve detected a problem with your PC, it’s a lie. If your virus software sees a problem, it fixes it or alerts you that it can’t be fixed. You won’t receive a message to call a phone number.

In the past, scammers were known to go door-to-door and tell people they saw a problem with the windows in their house and offer to fix or replace them at an exorbitant cost. Same thing with people offering fixes for Windows (or anything else) on your PC.

If you see any kind of a notice, just close it. If you think there’s a possibility of an issue with your PC, open up the security program on your PC and run it. Don’t click on some random pop-up. Same thing goes for messages on your phone.

~ Cynthia