No, your device isn’t compromised. That message is a scam.


The ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert offers ways to protect yourself

Have you heard about the fake antivirus scam? It’s spreading across the country, a variation of the tried and true tech support scam, and this week it popped up on the ConsumerAffairs-Trend Micro Threat Alert radar.

Trend Micro's research team identified hackers pretending to alert victims to three harmful apps that they needed to remove. They then redirected the victims to a fake security “Protection Center,” directing them to several steps.

Those steps included asking the targets to subscribe to an antivirus protection service. To subscribe, the victims were required to provide credit card and other personal information. Of course, there was nothing wrong with their device to start with.

Jon Clay, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Trend Micro, says nearly all scams have some things in common

“Scammers are regularly using a few tactics when targeting consumers with their attacks,” he told us.

For example, look closely at any email you get that appears to be from a large, well-known company like Amazon.

Scammers will use addresses that are not associated with the brand or business they purport to be from,” Clay said. “If you didn’t ask for the message or offer, be more skeptical of it.  

If when acting on the too-good-to-be-true offer you are asked to provide personal information or financial information, be hesitant and ask yourself if this makes sense.  Most scammers try to get this valuable information from you.”

Clay says consumers should consider installing a cyber security application on their PC or mobile device because they can detect and block many scams.

Here are some other scams that showed up in this week’s Threat Alert:

USPS shipping scam 

  • Trend Micro's research team identified a scammer impersonating USPS to inform users that their parcel delivery failed due to incomplete address information and asked victims to fill out personal and credit card information on fake USPS websites. 

  • The top five states being targeted are Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Back to school shopping scam

  • Between July 1-Septemeber 11, Trend Micro found 268,219 back-to-school shopping-related scam URLs in the US, which increased by 13.6% compared to the past week.  

  • Trend Micro detected a 74.49% increase year over year. 

  • The top five states being targeted the most in 2023 are Oregon, Virginia, California, Texas and New York.   

Travel scam 

  • Between April 1-September 3, Trend Micro found 2,935 travel-related scam URLs, which increased by 2% compared to past weeks.  

  • Trend Micro found 2 fake Airbnb login websites.  

  • The top five states being targeted are Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois.    

Netflix scam 

  • Trend Micro research team identified scammers impersonating Netflix to inform users that their membership will expire soon, then prompt the victim to confirm and extend their membership with personal information.  

  • Trend Micro detected 9,956 logs on September 7 alone.    

FedEx phishing 

  • Trend Micro research team found scammers impersonating FedEx, asking victims to reschedule their package delivery date and delivery information via a fake FedEx log-in page. 

  • Trend Micro detected 895 logs on September 10 alone. 

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