‘Your Computer Has Been Hacked’: Tech Support Scam Costs Bergen Man $150,000 | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The victim got a computer popup message “alerting” him to the purported hack earlier this month, Glen Rock Police Lt. Frank Riggio said.

“Over the following days, he was advised to secure a large sum of money from his bank accounts to avoid further hacking,” the lieutenant said.

The victim gave the con artist nearly 150 large “under the false pretense that this party was helping protect the victim from further financial hacking,” Riggio said.

The man eventually grew suspicious and called police — which at that point was more than a tad too late, of course. Glen Rock detectives are nonetheless hoping they can shake loose a lead.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials continue to urge anyone who uses a home computer to not be fooled by fake virus alerts.

The ”you’ve been hacked” scam sometimes claims to be from a well-respected antivirus company such as McAfee or Norton. Or even from Microsoft.

It’s often the work of actual hackers.

The slimeballs want you to think the warning somehow sprung miraculously from your computer’s system after detecting a virus on it. It then capitalizes on what may feel like an extremely compromised position to the user by promising to have the attack removed — for a fee, of course.

Many users know this isn’t how it works.

Clicking on an infected link can expose you to a “drive-by” download or send you to a bogus website that claims to sell software that doesn’t even exist, they’ll tell you. They also know that reputable companies aren’t barging onto your computer offering services for specific fees.

These folks close their screens, reboot their computers and DON’T under any circumstances click on any links or enter any personal or financial information.

Some people unfortunately don’t realize they’re being tricked. They may be frightened into an irrational decision or confused by it all.

Sometimes they get suspicious and try to back out, but they may have gone too far and now find themselves unable to simply close the window.

At that point, you can take certain steps, authorities say (see the FTC video below). If these don’t work, you need to consult a reputable company that can root out the bug.

The first thing to do: Take a photo of the screen with your phone. This could help authorities if they end up investigating. Then get expert help.

DON’T click on any “x” that’s connected to the popup. Instead, try pressing the Control and F4 keys.

Then restart your computer.

NOTE: You can better protect yourself by having up-to-date antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware software. And if you know someone who might be susceptible to such a scam, please warn them.

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