By Joe Callison
5 March, 2016
In the last month I have talked with 4 people who have had encounters with fraudulent computer “technicians” after getting a popup on their computer looking like a blue screen of death (BSOD) that claims to be from Microsoft informing them of viruses or malware on their computer and providing a telephone number from a “Certified Microsoft Partner”. Fortunately all of them got suspicious and ended the call before providing their credit card number, but just letting a fraud have remote access to your computer for a moment can put you at risk of having your files encrypted or deleted by them if you refuse to pay for their service.
If you get a popup like this, you probably have malware that has attached itself to your internet browser and it will not go away just by closing the browser. The best action is to shut down your computer and get legitimate help from someone unless you are comfortable with starting your computer in “safe mode with networking” and running anti-malware programs yourself. Running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while in safe mode and then restarting your computer and running Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool is a very effective way to remove the malware. Malwarebytes.org recently redesigned their web page, but if you click on Products at the top you will get a list of all products. Under Home you will find Anti-Malware and under Technician tools you will find Junkware Removal Tool. The free version is all you need, so be sure to decline a free trial of the premium version unless you really want to try it.
After your computer has been cleaned of malware, run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware again after a normal startup to see if it shows no infections. Running a whole computer scan with your anti-virus program is also a good idea. If your anti-virus program does not include internet security or you have chosen not to use that option because it bogs your internet browser down as I have experienced, then I recommend trying Malwarebytes new Anti-Exploit that is listed under Home in their list of all products. It provides protection of all the popular browsers, any plug-ins they may have, and also Java, from being exploited by malware. The only indication you will see is a brief notification each time you open a browser that it is now protected by Anti-Exploit. It has been proven effective by multiple independent labs testing with actual exploits. Again, the free version is all you need, so decline the free trial of the premium version unless you really want it.