How to spot an online scam

It often starts with a pop-up...

“Call Now or Else...”

Then, you call a toll-free number
or click a website link.

The scammer might:

Ask you to give them remote
to your computer

Pretend to run
a diagnostic test

Tell you they’ve ‘discovered’
a virus or other security issue

Try to sell you repair services
or a security subscription

Then, you’re asked to pay a fee.

The scammer claims it can provide “services” that range from:

Low risk

Medium risk

High risk

“Fixing” a problem
that doesn’t exist

Subscriptions that
don’t do anything

Installing fake
antivirus software

Leading the scammer to stealing personal information or installing malicious malware

Legitimate companies do not display pop-up warnings and ask you to call a toll-free number about viruses or security problems.

What you can do:

If you get a pop-up, call, spam email or any other urgent message about a virus on your computer, stop.

Don’t click on any links or call a phone number.

Don’t give anyone control of your computer.

Don’t send any money.


Keep your anti-virus and security software up to date. Know how to spot a scam.

Tell friends and family about this scam. You might help them spot it!

Report the scam

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