Critical error! Your computer's web browser is telling you that it is infected and needs to be cleaned right away, but a scan from Identity Guard Device Secure returned no results. So, what’s going on? This article will describe what has happened and what you can do about it.
What are these messages telling me my computer is infected?
Sometimes, when surfing the web, you’ll see a pop-up message or alert dialog warning you that your computer is infected. The messages may have a link to follow or a phone number to call offering to help you fix your computer. Your web browser may even lock up or generally act funny. But don’t worry, your computer is not infected. These messages are a scam. Do not follow the links or call the numbers.
Why am I seeing these?
Scammers and hackers are able to exploit many vulnerabilities in the web that allow them to display these fake alerts on your computer. You may have unknowingly followed a link to a malicious website, where they are able to make your browser do all sorts of weird things. Even if you’ve only visited trusted sites, scammers are able to buy advertising on legitimate websites and use these ads to trigger these messages. Their goal is to get you to respond to these alerts and, either over the phone or through the web, trick you into giving them personal information or your credit card number. They may even tell you to install software that will “fix” your “problem”, but this will, in fact, make it worse. If you do that, you will likely get a virus.
What should I do?
The best thing to do is just ignore these messages, close any open browser windows, and forget about it. If the problem doesn’t go away, you may need to quit your browser completely, then clear your browser cache and other history. At this point, you may also want to check out this article to see how you can stop these annoying popups, along with any other privacy and security options that may be turned off in your browser’s settings. This will help prevent these sorts of scams in the future.
But what if I followed the link or called the number?
If you gave the scammers your credit card number, you should call your bank and let them know immediately. If you downloaded any software, do not install it and delete the installation file right away. If you did install something, do your best to uninstall it and be sure to keep Identity Guard Device Secure running. Our app is constantly updating itself and learns about new threats every day. If Identity Guard Device Secure didn’t detect the virus yet, it will soon and will automatically handle the dangerous files. And finally, please report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint line at: ftc.gov/complaint.