AG Hood alerts consumers about computer scams

MGN Online

A pop-up alert on your computer that appears to be a technical support message could be an effort to steal your personal information, warned Attorney General Jim Hood.

Posted: May 2, 2018 11:16 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (Press Release) - A pop-up alert on your computer that appears to be a technical support message could be an effort to steal your personal information, warned Attorney General Jim Hood.

The Consumer Protection Division in the Attorney General’s Office has seen a recent increase in these types of scams, where tech support scammers use pop-ups that resemble security alerts from Microsoft, Apple, or other companies. The alerts warn that the user’s computer is hacked or infected with viruses. Some pop-ups even feature a countdown clock, supposedly showing the time remaining before the hard drive will be fried—unless the consumer calls a toll-free number supposedly affiliated with one of those big-name companies.

Do not call that number—instead, shut your computer down immediately. When a person calls that number, scammers may pose as a security, customer, or technical support representative offering to resolve such issues as a compromised email or bank account, a virus on a computer, or to assist with a software license renewal.

“Once a person gets on the phone, that’s when they become most vulnerable to these con artists,” explained General Hood. “The operators instruct you to go to your computer and hit certain keys or links. When you do this, you are giving the scammers “remote access” or control of your computer, which allows them to access your personal information and online accounts.”

The scammers claim that they need “remote access” or control of your computer to run tests that they claim reveal grave problems that can only be solved by one of their “certified technicians” for a hefty fee. Do not give access to your computer unless you are speaking with a trusted source whom you voluntarily contacted. In this type of scam, high-pressure tactics are used to strong-arm consumers into paying hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs, anti-virus protection or software, and other products and services.

SUGGESTIONS FOR PROTECTION

Remember that legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals.
Install ad-blocking software that eliminates or reduces pop-ups and malvertising (online advertising to spread malware).
Be cautious of customer support numbers obtained via open source searching (searching for phone numbers on the internet).
Recognize fraudulent attempts and cease all communication with the scammer.
Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers will urge you to act fast to protect your device. The scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure you into immediate action.
Do not give unknown, unverified persons remote access or control of devices or accounts.
Ensure all computer anti-virus, security, and malware protection is up to date.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM

If you receive a pop-up or locked screen, shut down the device immediately. Ignore any pop-ups instructing to not power off or restart the computer. Shutting down the device and waiting a short time to restart may cause the pop-up or screen lock to disappear.
Do not re-contact fraudulent tech scam companies. Expect additional fraudulent calls as these companies often share their customer database information.
Should a criminal gain access to a device or an account, you should take precautions to protect your identity. Immediately contact financial institutions to place protection on accounts as well as change passwords and actively monitor accounts and personal information for suspicious activity.
You should also have your device inspected by a trusted professional to determine whether any malware or viruses exist and/or whether your hard drive should be wiped clean and the operating system reinstalled.

Contact the AG’s Consumer Protection Division at 601-359-4230 or 800-281-4418.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112123

Reported Deaths: 3223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 79°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather