Don’t fall for it!

If you found out that your computer had been infected in some way, you’d probably feel violated and be quite anxious about the possible consequences. There are fake anti-virus programs that are designed to take advantage of those feelings.

These scams typically start with a scary pop-up window or banner that appears that warns you that your computer is infected or is at risk. If you were to fall for this, you would be prompted to run a scan via a button or link. It might even look as if it is already running a scan, showing you the number of problems it claims to have found (which are not real).


The people behind these scams are great at making these warnings look authentic and pressuring you to download their security software, which is actually the malicious program.

If you’re not sure whether your computer has become infected, close all programs and run a full scan with your existing anti-virus software, making sure that it is up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. If you don’t have already have a reputable anti-virus program, you should get one.

In the meantime, you can also run a free program from Trend Micro called “House Call ”. House Call will not protect your computer on an ongoing basis, but it will perform a one-time scan on your computer and remove any known threats it finds.


If after scanning you still feel like something is wrong, call your Internet service provider or your security software’s technical support line. Tell them the details of the warning that you are seeing and ask if they have any recommendations.