A reader has some suspicions about a site she’s attempting to visit. 

“Hi Cyn, I’ve got a problem for you to solve. I was recently diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. It has no cure and very little in the way of treatments. Understandably, I am desperately grasping at anything to stop the debilitating vertigo attacks and/or keep what little hearing I have left. There is a device called the P100 that was made by a company named Enttrex.

At the bottom of the article is the web address for Enttrex. The problem is when I try to go to the website, I am met with a popup that tells me to click a button so I can go through a standard security check and then be directed to where I can install a Secured Search extension compatible with my browser (Chrome) and change my default search provider. When I go to close that tab, another popup tells me I’m almost there, only 3 more easy steps to add “Securify” to Chrome. What’s up with this? A scam? I’d really like to get to this website, but I’m beginning to think it’s not what I think/want it to be. Could you check it out for me? I’d sure appreciate it!”

You are absolutely right. You encountered an attempt to install a search engine hijacker which would have directed all of your searches through another website which may or may not be malicious. And who knows what kind of information the installed extension might have gleaned from your browser.

Checking out the site you shared, it appears to be a type of classified site where people can post sales pitches in the form of articles. If you look to the far-right of the article, you’ll see that it says ‘advertisement’ in the fine print.

In this case, it looks like the folks behind the search engine add-on, put up an article about an issue that affects many people to lure you into installing their software. It’s an absolutely despicable attempt to prey on folks with a medical condition.

However, I did some research about the type of device they’re describing, which uses pressure pulse therapy to treat symptoms of Meniere’s Disease and found a legitimate site for the maker of a device which I forwarded to you. You’ll need a prescription to get the device, so talk it over with your doctor.

Be extremely careful of advertisements for medical devices and don’t trust any site that asks you to download or install anything before you’re allowed to access it. Good catch!