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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: 16769

Reported Deaths: 803
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
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Jackson31415
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Yazoo2964
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Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
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Marshall873
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Webster844
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Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
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Sumter2287
Houston2265
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Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
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Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
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Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
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Washington736
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Geneva440
Perry430
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