Posted by: Donna Cunningham | May 1, 2010

SCAM ALERT–Fake Antivirus Warning with Virus Attached

  NOTE:  This came to me via my LifeLock membership, and I’m passing it along–the more we know about scams and identity theft, the better protected we are. 
 Source: Scam Busters ( Characteristics: In one of their latest tactics, scammers are attempting to create confusion among computer users by taking advantage of the growing need for antivirus protection.While surfing the web, you may receive a virus alert in the form of a browser pop-up window stating “Your Computer Has Been Infected!” or some variation of this message. This phony notification is intended to scare you into purchasing or downloading software that supposedly fights viruses, spyware, and malware. However, the fake software does not work and actually infects your computer with the same dangerous programs it claims to protect you from.The fake virus pop-ups closely resemble legitimate and well-known brands by using similar logos, colors, and graphics. It is extremely important that you do not click on these fake advertisements. See below for more information on how you can reduce your risk of accidentally infecting your computer.Note: A pop-up is a browser window that suddenly appears when you access certain websites. While most are simple advertisements, some are clever attempts to get you to download viruses and malware. A fake antivirus pop-up window may vary in appearance, but will often mimic the look of popular and well-known brands. Here’s an example:

The following are steps you can take to help avoid becoming a victim of this scam:

1. If a virus alert pop-up appears on your screen, and you know you don’t have that brand of antivirus, do not click on it, do NOT use your mouse to eliminate or scan for viruses, and do NOT use your mouse to close the window. Instead, hit control + alt + delete to view a list of programs currently running. Delete the offending alert from the list of running programs.

2. Download antivirus from trusted sources only. If you are unsure, LifeLock encourages you to research antivirus programs to help ensure their legitimacy.

3. Do NOT click on any pop-ups that advertise antivirus or anti-spyware software, even if it appears to be from a well-known brand such as Norton, Grisoft AVG, and McAfee. Scammers often try to closely resemble a trusted source.

4. If you do not currently have antivirus protection for your PC, LifeLock recommends protecting your PC with the award-winning Norton 360. Take advantage of a special members-only discount by visiting


  1. the name of the proteccion they promote is “engine security”, as you said delete from the computer, do not try to outcast the incoming mnsg, just ignore it and get help!

  2. yes, we’ve both gotten that recently. I clicked.. My husband then wiser by a couple hundred dollars did not… good luck..

  3. Yeah, at my last job, my boss fell for this and infected his PC at his home. Fortunately, I am pretty good at repairing this sort of thing, although it wasn’t easy. I had to take the occasion to joke with the boss, I told him that as his chief computer person, I wasn’t sure if it was my in my job description to repair the boss’s gaming PC.
    Well I suppose it isn’t too surprising I didn’t last too long at that job. If there’s anything humorless people like less than a joker, it’s a Mr. Know-it-all. Jeez, I thought that’s why they hired me, because when it comes to computers, I know it all. Go figure.

  4. thank you for your great tips

  5. My sister’s computer got this. It’s a bitch of a program and I ended up having to reset the computer back to the day before to get rid of it. I think there are a couple different viruses that do the same thing floating around. Horrible virus, it
    s incredibly alarming. I could only imagine older people or less knowledgeable people being really terrified and shelling out the dough just to get rid of it.

  6. Thanks Donna! The ONLY Antivirus program I have (and love) is Avast – I don’t even bother with others since this works! Even McAfee and especially Norton are rather “invasive” on your computer. Again, thanks for the heads up!

  7. Computer forensics is becoming increasingly necessary. Crime has increased in the last ten years and is one of the most common methods of committing crime. Millions of dollars are lost each year, theft of computer data. This work led to an increase in computer forensic-LED.

  8. It was pretty annoying when LifeLock’s owner, Todd Davis announced his SSN in public. It seemed cheeky..

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