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Schemes & Rip Offs: Fake Anti-Virus Warnings - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Schemes & Rip Offs: Fake Anti-Virus Warnings

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It's one of the simplest steps to protect a computer - and the personal information stored there -- installing anti-virus software, and updating it on a regular basis.

With that in mind, internet security experts have noticed a fast-growing trend - scammers trying to snare well-intentioned consumers with fake anti-virus warnings and malware.

"Nowadays it's gotten a lot worse because cyber-criminals can make a lot of money off of this so they've developed elaborate graphical user-interfaces to mimic things," said internet security expert Derek Manky.

Manky also says the scareware can silently install itself on a computer and try to hijack existing anti-virus software.

Red flags that a virus warning may not be legitimate can include redirecting a user to a website, and asking for a credit card number to fix the so-called problem.

In the event of a scam, take the computer offline, reinstall existing anti-virus software, and complete a new scan of the device.

To avoid getting tripped up by such a scam in the first place, have safe web browsing in place, as well as web filtering security software and anti-virus protection to block malicious websites.

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