A few days back I showed you a pop-up ad error scam targeting the Chrome browser. (click here to read about how to handle that.) I experienced a similar scam attempt while using the Edge browser today, so I thought I’d show you what it looked like. I was visiting a normally reputable site when this popped up.
It’s carefully crafted to look very much like an actual message from the Edge browser. The warning uses scary buzzwords like trojan, worm, ransomware, and infection. It also says your passwords, browser history, and credit card data are at risk. You’re supposed to call a number that alleged to be Microsoft tech support immediately.
If you attempt to cancel that warning, you’ll see this ominous red screen. It tries to mimic a warning from security software and again urges you to immediately call the alleged help desk number.
But wait! There’s more. A third screen that asks for your account password and mimics a Microsoft critical process error. When you try to hit cancel, it just keeps popping back up. And when you try to close the browser tab, it won’t shut down.
That could give you the impression that some hacker actually has seized control of your PC. But that’s not what’s happening. The site just continually generates a dialog box to keep your PC from closing the page. All I had to do was press Ctrl + Alt + Del and shut Edge down in the task manager.
If it wasn’t obvious already that this is some type of fake, you can tell by the address at the top of the browser that this is not referring you to a Microsoft site. Sustainmecca.info is no Microsoft. Plus, no genuine virus warning or error is going to offer a phone number to call.
What happens when you call this number? I called and after a nicely rehearsed bit where some scammer attempts to sound like a legitimate tech support person answering questions, you’re asked to allow them to access your computer.
Yeah, I don’t think so. While the red box and the language of the errors can be alarming, this is a straight-up scam to frighten you into giving away your information.