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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.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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