A New Look to An Old Scam
The fake virus scam is not a new concept. We’ve actually dedicated ad campaigns to the fake virus scam, in an attempt to raise public awareness. However, as we raise awareness for the pop-up scams hackers were traditionally using, they began using new fraudulent error messages. Most recently there has been a WinErx03 pop-up that displays on PCs. According to Microsoft, this malicious pop-up will claim the following:
“Your windows system is damaged WinErx03 -Please note: Windows security has detected that the system is corrupted and outdated. All system files will be deleted in…”
Then it shows a countdown of seconds ticking by, and goes on to say,
“Windows Firewall has detected that you have not updated your windows system, It remains damaged and vulnerable.”
Please know — this is fake. The scammers designed the pop-up to generate a sense of urgency for the user to call as quickly as possible before investigating the legitimacy of the alert.
Fortunately, this is just a scam and not a virus. Unfortunately, that means traditional antivirus programs won’t stop it.
For PC Matic users — if you’re using the Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer browsers, PC Matic’s adblocker will actively prevent these fake virus scams from populating on your PC. If you need help enabling PC Matic’s adblocker, please reach out to our support team at www.pcmatic.com/help.
If you’re not a PC Matic user, or prefer to use Microsoft’s Edge browser, there is a quick fix. All users need to do to resolve the problem is end the browser task in Task Manager. To do so, follow these steps:
- Hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys
- Select Task Manager
- Click the name of the browser you were using
- Select “End Task” at the bottom of the Task Manager window
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