Browser Tech Alert Scam

MacLab has been receiving daily calls and emails from customers who have fallen prey in some degree to browser alert scams. These alerts pop up on your screen and tell you something is terribly wrong with your computer and to call “A Certified Live Technician” or “Apple Support.” The error message may be difficult or seemingly impossible to dismiss. Most importantly, do not call the number. The person on the other end will ask to take remote control of your computer in order to “fix” the problem. Once this unknown person has gained control of your computer, your identity and finances are at risk.

We’ve had customers report that the “tech” opened password files and asked for birthdates. At the same time they are asking the customer to pay to have the computer repaired.

Safari may appear to be stuck and not useable after this, the result of the malware. Until you can get it truly resolved, try Firefox.

The Safe Mac has more information, including how to fix the browser problems.

If you’ve already fallen victim to this scam and these people have taken over your computer, disconnect from the Internet immediately. You should also change passwords on any accounts (banking, internet, etc) that were stored on your computer. MacLab can take a look to see if there is anything left behind that will allow the scammers to access to your Mac again. However, the only truly guaranteed method is to erase the drive and re-install the software.

Related: Apple support article on removing malware
Related: Check your Mac for adware with Adware Medic

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