Scam #1: Your Computer is Infected! You’ve heard of viruses and spyware, meet their cousin, Scareware. This threat tries to convince you that your computer is infected and convince you that you need to pay them for their “antivirus protection”. These rogue antivirus products are one of the biggest criminal enterprises around right now! If you see a fake alert, stop what you are doing, close your internet browser, and perform a full scan with your legitimate antivirus program. Above all, do not give out your credit card information in an attempt to clean your computer! The only thing that will get cleaned out is your wallet.
Scam #2: Check out this Cool Link! These days, planes are not the most likely thing to be hijacked. Today email and Facebook accounts are the hijackers focus. It looks like you’ve received an email from your friend that includes a link to click to view a “cool video” or some other intriguing item. You might get an email from UPS or FedEx saying that they had trouble delivering a package and you can click the link to view the shipping receipt. What’s really happening behind the scenes? The link takes you to a website that will download some sort of virus or other malicious software (malware) onto your computer.
Scam #3: “John Doe” wants to be your Friend! In this case, scammers send you an email that looks like it is from a social networking site you are a member of. It says that someone wants to be your friend, just click the link to “accept”. Even though the email looks like the real thing, complete with logos, it could be from an imposter and the link could take you somewhere bad. Your best bet is to delete the email, go to your internet browser and log into your social networking site. If the friend request is legitimate, you will see it there and can accept it.
Remember: Scammers are constantly coming up with new and sneakier ways to get to you. Your best defense is 1) a good antivirus & anti-spamware software program, 2) update it often; new threats are added daily, and 3) set a schedule to run scans while you are sleeping on a daily or weekly basis.