Don’t Fall for Tech Help Scams

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You were simply searching the web when suddenly you get a scary popup window that you can not close. According to the window, your computer has been locked because it is infected. A loud alarm may even sound! It looks like your only solution is to call the number on the screen. Should you call?


Do not call the number! Microsoft NEVER includes a phone number on any of their security alerts. This phone number is the number of the people who installed the scammy browser popup. If you call them, the scammers will ask for a credit card number to pay for a tech support plan or service so they can “unlock” your computer and clean it of viruses. They could also install a remote access program on your computer so they can access your computer to remove the “virus.” This remote access allows them to install programs that may run in the background without their victim knowing. They can install malware and viruses to capture sensitive passwords, banking information, and other personal data remotely. Often if someone refuses to pay, they will use scare tactics. Customers have gotten yelled at by irate scammers.

How To Break Out of the Popup If You Haven’t Called

Chances are, if you haven’t called, your computer is not infected by this browser popup. This popup is a trick to get you to call the number. Here’s how you can remove it:

  • Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard and then select Task Manager.
  • Select your web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) and left-click on it. Then select End Task.
  • The next time you open your browser, do not select “restore browser.”
  • Check your browser extensions to make sure nothing new has been added without your permission.
  • Do a deep scan of your computer with your antivirus program.
  • Still worried? Give us a call at 508-478-6010. We offer over-the-phone tech support.

If You Have Called the Number
Your best bet is to shut down your computer, even if you have to do a hard shut down with the power button, and bring it into us asap. We will ensure your virus protection is up to date and active, remove unwanted remote programs, and check for hidden viruses and malware. 

What Else Should You Do?

  • Run Microsoft updates when they become available. Microsoft offers patches and updates for operating systems to help keep your computer secure on the internet.
  • Don’t use old operating systems like Windows 7, which are unsupported and obsolete.
  • Make sure your virus protection is active and not disabled! Most virus protection needs to be renewed each year. If you have automatic renewals, make sure your credit card information is correct and up to date.

Need a reliable antivirus program? We recommend and install VIPRE. This annual subscription is available unmanaged (you run the updates) and managed (Hopedale Technologies runs the updates).

We also offer managed protection which blocks program installs until Hopedale Technologies approves the installation. This helps prevent accidental installations of rogue programs to your system.