Hackers are using a new phishing scam to steal your money, and no one would blame you for being tricked. The hackers are getting really good at this. (Note: Keep reading for tips to stay safe.)
The scam starts with an ad for an Internet security company. You click on the ad to sign up. You pay the fees and your computers, tablets and smartphones are protected against malware, ransomware and other cyberattacks. Or so you think.
In reality, the cybercriminals are just copying ads from legitimate Internet security companies and using it as their own. They just slap on their own phone number and link it to their malicious website.
Here's how they get your money. They take your payment, often an exorbitant fee. They don't provide any real Internet security, so you're out of that money. Worse, they also steal your banking information, including passwords.
But it gets even worse. Often, the cybercriminals remotely access your computer, and demand $1,000 or more to "fix it."
The problem is, if you look for a real company on Google or another search, the fake ads are popping up. The hackers are cloning a lot of Internet security companies.
Here's what you need to do:
- Don't click on the ad: Find the company's website first and sign up there, or call the phone number on the site
- Be on the lookout for this phone number (800) 277-6232, which has appeared on most fake ads