I ran across a new version of an old scam when this pop-up turned up while I was reading some news stories. This ad disguises itself as a browser security alert.
The tab gives a false address that says you’re in Google Chrome Settings and an alert warns you not to close this important window.
The fake security alert claims that a security system had stopped an attack on your accounts, your PC has been affected, and that you must immediately seek help. It even offers a number claiming to be MS support.
Everything about this is complete garbage, of course. You’ll never see an alert that tells you to call a support number. This warning claims to be both a notification from Google and a notification from Microsoft. It somehow knows that not only have your accounts been attacked, but your PC has been hit as well. If you do the smart thing and just go to close the tab, you’ll get this notification. Since the tab won’t close easily or allow you to navigate away, it may give you the impression that your PC is locked up. It is not.
I pressed the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys to bring up Task Manager and close Chrome. Everything was fine.
But then I decided to see what would happen when I called the number. I spoke to a technician and we had a lovely exchange.
He said that the alert indicated there was a problem with my computer that needed immediate attention.
I asked if this was Microsoft support. He said that he worked for Quick-Net Care. I asked why the alert on my computer said to call Microsoft Support at his number. He said that’s because I was using a Windows computer. I asked again if he worked for Microsoft. He said no, he worked for Quick-Net Care but that my PC had an issue and he could help fix it.
I asked how much he charged. He said he’d have to get into my computer to look at it first before he could give me the actual cost. A quick check of their website shows they offer four levels of plans starting at $400 and going all the way to $800. They claim to offer security services, backup and protection, but they charge many times more than many other third-party security companies.
Is Quick-Net Care tech support legitimate? Their advertising sure as heck isn’t and I wouldn’t trust anyone with such deceptive advertising practices to take care of my PC. So, if you’ve purchased their services, I’d suggest immediately disputing the charge and disabling any access they may have had to your PC.
These scammers are counting on a fear response tricking unsuspecting consumers into opening their wallets. Don’t fall for it.