Security company Malwarebytes and the BBC are issuing warnings about a new and more sophisticated security threat.

A pop-up box can appear on your screen, allegedly from your internet security provider, alerting you that they have detected suspicious malware on your computer. It asks you to call a telephone number, which is, of course, the scammers themselves. In the UK the warning often appears to be from BT.

Jerome Segura, a consultant at US security firm Malwarebytes, has been investigating tech support scams for several years. However, when he came face-to-face with the latest scam he almost fell victim to it.

“It caught me by surprise and I almost thought that it was real. It was a page from my ISP telling me my computer was infected. It was only when I looked in closer detail that I saw it was a scam,” he explained to the BBC.

This latest scam is a revamp of the cold-calling scheme in which the scammer poses as Microsoft and charges for phoney technical support.

“Cold calls are very wasteful and after years of being told, people are starting to realise it is a scam so the scammers have to find new ways to make it personalised and legitimate. It is more cost-effective and efficient than cold-calling,” said Jerome Segura.

Please be aware of this and make your staff aware of the scam too. The consequences of not sharing this information could potentially be costly.

For IT issues, never call anyone other than your internal IT team or your outsourced IT support supplier.
If you are unsure, get some professional advice. The Riverbank team will be pleased to help. Call us on 01235 462700 or email enquiries@riverbank.co.uk