As computer security becomes more of a concern, scammers hide behind virus protection software to exploit users. Through ads disguised as legitimate security alerts, con artists can gain access to your computer with a simple phone call.
It starts with a pop-up warning to the user that their computer is infected and they must buy protective software. The user is then prompted to call a phone number for help, where they'll be connected to a scammer who try to convince them to purchase anti-virus software. Once purchased, the scammer will ask for remote access to the computer to help install the software, but actually install spyware instead. This spyware will be able to steal almost any type of information on your computer from photos to financial information.
If you ever receive a pop-up with an urgent message about a virus on your computer, ignore it. Familiarize yourself with legitimate security software and scan your computer frequently to identify any threats. And when you do come across an anti-virus pop-up, you can always report it to the FTC.