What to do when you get the”Your computer is Infected!”screen message.
If you haven’t seen this message yet, there is a good chance that you will. You are on the internet and all of a sudden your screen will change and you will get a warning that your computer is infected. It will say that your data and accounts are at risk, and that your computer will be damaged if you shut it off. Conveniently, there are “Microsoft” technicians awaiting your call, and the screen provides a number to call to resolve the issue.
Of course you do not want to damage your computer, so you call the number so that Microsoft can resolve the issue. The technician on the phone will ask, and you will give permission, to take over control of your computer. After looking at a few screens and showing you what is infected, the technician will be more than happy to fix your problem and make your computer right again. As well, they will provide a year of phone support service to you for the “low price” of $299.99 or something similar. If you do not have a credit card, they will be more than happy to make an online deduction from your checking account, and you are more than happy to enter your username and password so that they can do so. After you give them this sum, they can make the screen message go away, and you can now use your computer safely again. Be assured that if you have any more problems in the next year, you can call “Microsoft” and they will gladly take care of your problem.
Now think of all of the above, and consider how crazy it sounds: 1. A message pops up on your computer screen from ” Microsoft,” and it directs you to a phone number to resolve the issue. 2. You are willing to give someone that you do not know permission to snoop around on your computer. 3. You are willing to pay a stranger $299.99 to fix a problem, and if you do not have a credit card, you allow him access to your bank account. 4. In a few seconds, the “Microsoft” technician can fix your problem.
Unfortunately, many of our customers have fallen for this scam and have lost money as a result. So if you see this message, this is what you do:
- Turn off your computer immediately. It will not harm your computer. If you cannot turn it off normally, just hold down the on/off button until the computer shuts off. It may take 15-20 seconds, but it will shut off.
- Restart the computer normally.
- After your computer has restarted, go to the same internet browser interface that you were on when the problem started (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox). When it launches, it may say that it shut down improperly, and asks if you want to restore the page that you were on when it shut down. You answer “NO”. Then do some normal surfing and see if everything seems normal. If so, you are good.
If you get the message again, you need to bring it to a computer repair shop to fix.
The message that you are seeing is nothing more than a web page. Unfortunately, it will not go away normally. The message is certainly not from Microsoft. The truth is, Microsoft could care less if you are infected or not. The phone number is to a scam tech support company who is more than willing to fleece you out of $299.99, plus they have your credit card or online banking information. The technician will then remove the web page after he has charged your account. Sounds pretty scary, right?
As with all scam artists, the goal is to scare you, and then tell you that you have to do something IMMEDIATELY to resolve the issue. They will be very persuasive if you talk to them. Do not fall for it. If you do, and have used your credit card to pay for this ìservice,î call your credit card company and alert them. If you used your bank account to pay for this, notify your bank immediately. In all cases change your passwords for all important accounts. If you see this screen and are able to resolve it successfully, but want to be assured that everything is okay on your computer, just bring it to us. We will check it and make sure that your computer is not infected. If you are, we can remove any residual viruses or malware.