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Anti Virus Scams Can Cost You Money.

Why use an anti virus scams (AV) program to perpetuate a scam?

There seems to be a couple of Anti Virus scams on the web recently, they are scams to get your money.

One of these is called Antivirus IS, it is the virus. The program is downloaded by java script from a web site.

Now the web master or owner may or may not know about this scam. That is the web master/owner may be in league with the scammers or the site could have been hacked and the java script placed on the site by a hacker.

It works like this:

You go to a web site and a pop up says your computer is infected with a virus. If you have a reputable Anti-virus program and the web shield enabled the virus will be caught and dealt with at that time.

But if you do not have the AV web shield enabled you just downloaded a virus regardless of what you do, it is called the Antivirus IS program, this is the virus.

The next step the virus will take is tell you that to eradicate the offending virus you have to buy a program. It will then attempt to open the web page to purchase the Antivirus IS program.

After you pay you are sent to a download window where you will download the supposedly Antivirus IS program to clean the virus that sent you to the web page.

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The program you downloaded was the same program that you downloaded in the first place, a vicious circle.

The domain that this scam came from has been closed down. But the thieves have backup domains to get your money.

How do you protect yourself from these thieves?

  • Have a reputable AV active on your computer(s) at all times.
  • With Grisoft AVG I use the Web Shield, this catches pop ups that try to put a virus such as the above scam on my computer(s).
  • Back up your computer on a scheduled basis don't depend on your Anti Virus .
  • Create an image of the boot drive, keep it up to date if you do configuration changes such as adding or removing programs.
  • Have a router with a firewall between your ISP and your computer.

This is just one of the AV scams being ran out on the web.

My advice?

If you get a pop up that says your computer is infected with a virus shut down the computer, restart in Safe Mode, or from a separate bootable CD, or bootable USB device and run your Anti Virus / Spyware / Trojan / Malware programs. (You could use a custom ERD such as this one to scan / clean your computer...)

Never pay the thieves.

The bottom line is it is your data, to keep it yours you have to protect it! (And your wallet!)

Update 04/05/15 - It has been reported on a virus watch dog site there are four new scams out, two for the Android cell phone (a Linux operating system) and one for the Windows cell phone, one for the iPhone (all versions). Basically the scam blocks all out going web sites except to the thieves web site to pay to have the program removed. Some reports say it is coming from social web sites, of course the web site owners deny this... 

P.S.

Google, Bing, and Yahoo! have programs that you can report web sites that are promoting these types of viruses, you can find the form by searching for 'harmful web sites'.



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