Avoid web scams that trick you out of your money

There are many different types of malware on the internet and while browsing sites you might suddenly discover that your browser is frozen and unresponsive and you are locked out. What can you do?

Usually this type of malware warns you that your computer has been compromised in some way, such as by a malicious virus or security vulnerabilities. There is usually a way to unlock it though. Take a look at this message that popped up yesterday locking Chrome.

 Web scam

Was it some dodgy website that I was visiting? No. I have liked several well known national newspapers in Facebook and I get news stories in my Facebook feed. I clicked on a news story to go to the newspaper website and clicked a link in the page. That’s when the browser locked up and displayed that message.

 Web scam

It warns of security vulnerabilities and there is a telephone number to call to fix the problem. It even mentions Microsoft, which is intended to make it appear legitimate.

Never ever call the number. It is a fake message and you will be ripped off. So what can you do?

Right click the taskbar and select Task Manager in the menu that is displayed.

 Windows taskbar

Go to the Processes tab, find the web browser, which in this case is Chrome, but it could be Internet Explorer or Firefox. Right click it and select End task on the menu.

 Windows Task Manager

That is probably sufficient, but it is a good idea to scan the computer for viruses. Open your security software and use the scan facility to check the system.

 Virus scanner

It is also a good idea to check that no extensions and add-ons have been installed into the browser. In Chrome for example, go to the menu, More tools, Extensions. In Firefox go to the menu and select Add-ons. In Internet Explorer click the gear icon and select Manage addons. Look for anything that should not be there. I didn’t find anything after this web scam, but you cannot be too careful.

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