‘Scareware’ scams making the rounds

Saanich Police warn of scam involving computer virus

Saanich Police are advising the public to take the appropriate action if they see a message like this one on their computer.

Saanich Police are warning residents of “scareware,” a computer-related scam that has recently defrauded several locals out of hundreds of dollars.

The scam uses pop-up advertisements that trick users into believing their equipment has been infected with a virus, causing them to panic and pay a fee for its “removal” or inadvertently give away their personal information. The pop-up may cause the computer to slow down or freeze, forcing the user to see nothing but the pop-up window.

“In most cases, the computers have not been infected, or at least not at the point of the original contact,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie in a statement. “Due to panic, some people start to push buttons or close the pop-up, which can potentially lead to malware being downloaded onto the computer.”

The pop-up lists a phone number to call to remove the aforementioned virus, with a person on the line giving them instructions. The caller may be duped into performing certain functions that may allow others to remotely access their personal information, such as banking info, passwords and email addresses.

Additionally, the caller may actually “infect” their own computer by following the directions, to which the person on the phone will confirm the presence of a virus and ask for credit card information to pay for the removal of the malware.

“In some cases, the caller ends up paying for the removal of malware that was never even on their computer,” said Eassie. “Just the thought and scare tactic is enough to have people panic and seek help.”

Police are reminding users not to panic if they encounter scareware and to try various methods to get out of the pop-up window, like using the task manager (ctrl + alt + del) or by turning off the computer manually.

Eassie said if a user is really concerned about their computer being infected, they should take it to a reputable local computer shop and ask that they run a virus scan to clean their computer of any malware.

The police also mentioned if you have fallen victim to the scam, unplugging your computer from the internet will prevent remote access to your computer.

Incidents can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or at www.services.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

 

Just Posted

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Advocacy group threatens to call province over Saanich police budget

Grumpy Taxpayers$ suggests Saanich is trying to present public with fait accompli budget

Sea Change building in Gowlland Tod park tipped over and submerged

A building floating on pontoons has tipped over and is almost completely submerged

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read