Does Your Computer Have Malware on It?

Earlier this week, we wrote about a recent twist in so-called scareware schemes, where scammers send alarming messages to try to convince you that your computer is infected with viruses or other malware. Then, they try to sell you software to fix the problem. At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.

The newest version of the scam begins with a phone call. Scammers call and claim to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.

So, what should you do if you get one of these calls?

Hang up. Legitimate companies won’t call you out of the blue and ask you to pay for tech support. If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company yourself on a phone number you know to be genuine.

What should you do if you’ve already responded to one of these scams?

Change any passwords that you gave out. If you use these passwords for other accounts, change those accounts, too.

If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card provider and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any other charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too.

And file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Finally, what should you do if you suspect your computer has been infected with malware?

Stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.

Update your security software, and then scan your computer. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

If you can’t fix the problem on your own, your computer manufacturer or internet service provider may offer free tech support. If not, contact one of the many companies that offer tech support for a fee.

Once your computer is back up and running, think about how malware could have been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do differently to avoid it in the future.

Comments

MY EMAIL ISFULL OF SPAM AND THEY SEND DIFFERENT KINDS OF TRANSACTION METHODS ATM CARD;VISA CARD;THEY TOOK MY DETAILS WITH MY BANK ACCOUNT NUMBERS BECAUSE I GAVE THEM IF COMPENSATION FUNDS THE SENT TO ME IS SEEMS REAL. SO NOW I NEED TO GET THE RIGHT AND REAL MY COMPENSATION FUND AND PLZ HELP ME TO CONTACT WITH THE RIGHT PERSONS.

Visit the FTC's identity theft website to address these issues.

no, my computer is safe.

My computer does not have malware on it.

I HAVE BEEN CONTACTED BY A COMPANY CALLED REMOTE USERS .ORG ,I GAVE THEM INFORMAION ABOUT MYSELF AND THEY CHARGED MY BANK ACCOUNT 79.00 THAT I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT AND THEY CHARGED ME 17.95 A MONTH TO MONITOR. I HAVE SINCE DELETED ALL THE MALWARE THEY SOLD ME AND I DO NOT NO WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE MONTHLY AMOUNT , PLEASE ADVISE.........

Contact your bank right away, and tell them that you did not authorize the charges. The bank may provide refunds, and certainly will put a stop to any additional charges.

This happened to me on Oct 30th via a online search I did to inquire about Credit report History....within 24 hours they charged my account without my permission and I can't get any satisfactory help from this website called: ScoreSense, FreeScore360.com is exact web address....Im so mad at myself for even sharing any vital info. I hope you recoup everything. I wish you the best.

How exactly do I find out if I have Malware on my computer Laptop? Im not too familiar with how to navigate thru some simple tasks such as this.

Not a comment but an idea on how to give the best in reporting problems in return...By reading many FAQ we are very limited in modern technology terms...So why not we improve it by "ON SCREEN SNAP SHOT REPORT"...Hope my suggestion is taken with no ___...

I received failed e mails presumed to sent by me to my contacts eventhough I did not do this activities. I changed my password but it started again after a couple of days. It continues for about a month. When I check the contents of my account I realized that I have my Social security number and application letter inside. I assumed that my e mail account has been compromised so I cancelled that e mail acoount. Please advise if I still need to anything else. Thanks

My computer is constantly hacked into. I have made complaints but, I still require help.

You might want to take your computer to a computer security expert or retail store to get help. They will check your computer for malware and viruses and get rid of any suspicious files and programs. Once your computer is clean, change the passwords to your accounts.

They're back! And I fell into their trap! I didn't give out any information or pay them anything, but they did have remote access to my computer for at least a half hour. What sort of damage could they have done? Do they now have my personal information from being on remotely like that? I ran a full security scan, when I realized how stupid I had been. Is that enough?

If you think someone installed malware on your computer, you can download legitimate security software and delete anything that the security software identifies as a problem. Use the search bar at the top of this page and type in the word malware to find more information about what you can do.

In early December 2015, my laptop was infected with spyware after I clicked on a hyperlink as one of the results of my "Christmas in NC - Things to do” search. As soon as I clicked on it, my laptop crashed. It announced that “my laptop was infected with virus, stop doing any purchase further, and call the number on the screen.” (The phone number was showed under Microsoft Corporation). On the lower right hand corner, it showed my firewall was infected with Spyware. I called the number. I thought I was dealing with Microsoft, but I was dealing with FixMeNow (by introduction)/TechFixNow (Point of Contact) instead. It would cost me $174 for one-time cleanup, $299 for one-year computer & security protection services, which also included cleanup my spyware & $399 for two-year services. I signed up for two-years services.
Three weeks later, TechFixNow used Eventvwr and showed me that two hacker files "csrss.exe" were placed in my laptop since December to collect my account IDs & passwords. The hackers also stopped 95% of Microsoft applications. These hackers were traced to nine different foreign IP addresses. TechFixNow suggested me that in order to guard against future attacks, I need to subscribe Virtually Private Network (VPN) service for $266 a year. Later, I reviewed “Program and Features” on my laptop, I did not see any security software recently installed. I also did not follow his advice this time and deleted any recently installed programs and ignored any “Private Number and Private Name” calls.
On 2/26/16, TechFixNow contacted me and told me that I am up to a $100 refund for my $400 payment that I paid for my two-year computer & security protection services because TechFixNow is closing its door. Today is TechFixNow’s last day. Under Microsoft Corporation’s direction, TechFixNow needs to refund me. He showed me that he was using microsoftrefund.com. He instructed me to fill out a banking transfer online form. While I was hesitated, he was pushing hard. I asked why couldn’t he refund to my credit card or use PayPal instead. He told me because these organizations charged them high fees. I told him that I was not comfortable to do any banking transfer. He told me that he would not able to see anything. It all showed up as dot, dot, dot. At the meantime, I was a fool and let TechFixNow installed some software on my laptop and disabled my security protection software that I purchased. He even told me “Don’t touch the computer and keep it on over the night.” I insisted that I need to think about it and call him back, but I need a number to call. Finally, he gave out his number 239-384-7132. I searched the number. It looks like they are trying to get me again.

I've just in the same situation that a caller says because the computer company going to close so they refund money. I allow him use team viewer (I give him ID and pass of my team viewer) to access to help me fill the form. But when he ask me access to my account to transfer money, I turn all off. Is my computer still scammed? Thanks

If you gave someone control of your computer, you don't know what he was able to see or to change. If you think he put some malware on your computer when you gave him access, you should:

Until you get your computer checked, do not shop, bank or do other things online that show your user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.

Get an update on your security software, then scan your computer. If the security software says something is a problem, delete that thing. You might need to shut down your computer and restart it so all the changes will be effective.

If you can’t fix the problem, see if the computer manufacturer or internet service provider will give you free technical support. If they do not, you could contact a company that does tech support for a fee.

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