Cyber criminals are using fake virus protection software to send out malicious software. According to Microsoft, consumers need to watch out for fake virus alerts, because hackers have designed pop-up windows that falsely warn of outdated virus protection.
What can happen if you download fake virus protection?
In the event you download this fake virus protection, cyber criminals could:
- Install malware that steals your information
- Get you to pay for fake protection which will give identity thieves future access to your credit or bank account information.
- Slow down your computer
- Stop you from visiting legitimate antivirus websites
- Disable your current antivirus software or Windows updates.
Identity thieves use rogue security software in the form of an official looking pop up window. According to Microsoft’s Safety and Security Center, these pop-up windows may report that a virus is present on your computer, leading you to download it.
How to protect yourself
Protecting yourself from identity theft requires you to be wary of all internet advertisements and offers. When searching for virus protection online, be sure to use a well known reputable company; as well as conduct a Google search of the company to determine if there are any complaints against them. You should also download the Microsoft Safety Scanner which is a free program designed to remove malicious software and viruses by going to http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx According to Microsoft this program should be used along with your current antivirus program.
International cyber crime
Cyber crime is a growing international threat due to the fact that cyber criminals often operate outside of the United States. The FBI’s most wanted list highlights a man named Peteris Sahurovs who is wanted for selling a fake computer security program which actually contained a virus. For further information and pictures of the FBI’s most wanted cyber criminals, visit. http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/cyber If you have been the victim of identity theft from a business outside the United States you can file a complaint at econsumer.gov
Identity theft is something that we all need to continually watch out for. If you are a resident of Santa Ana or anywhere else and you feel that you have been the victim of identity theft, contact the Santa Ana Police Department at http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/pd/economiccrimes.asp If you live anywhere else, you should report the incident to the FTC’s online complaint assistant center at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0341-file-complaint-ftc or call 1-877-382-4357 in English or Spanish.
As always thank you for visiting today. If you have a personal experience, advice or comment you would like to make, please do so and don’t forget to subscribe for continual updates on how to protect your identity.