The most wonderful time of the year . . . for scammers

Christmas time, family is over, and if they didn’t bring their own computer, guess whose they are using? Yours. With more people using your computer there is more chance they’ll click on a bad link, or go to a bad website that will bring up a scam pop-up.

We’ve had many calls about scam pop-ups already, and they are very difficult to get out of. They make this pop-up purposefully difficult to get out of because they want you to call the phone number listed on the pop-up so “Microsoft” can remote into your computer and “fix” it. But while in your computer there’s no way to tell what other information they may be able to grab, or they may be able to remote back in without your permission and search your computer.

Just to clarify, this pop-up that you may see is a scam. They are not actually Microsoft and everything the pop-up says about what’s wrong with your computer is a lie.

The easiest way to get rid of this pop-up is to hold down the power button on your computer for 10 seconds. During the 10 seconds your computer will shut down and the pop-up should disappear. Turn your computer back on, visit the internet and the pop-up shouldn’t come back up. Make sure not to hit any options that allow you to restore your web pages because if you restore web pages it will just bring the pop-up back again and you’ll have to restart the process.

The other option to get rid of the pop-up is to end your browser process using Task Manager. To open Task Manager, hit the CTRL+ALT+DELETE
(DEL) keys on your keyboard at the same time. A screen should come up allowing you to start Task Manager. Once in Task Manager, find the web browser you’re using, click on it once so it’s highlighted in blue, then click “End Task” in the lower right corner and the pop-up should go away. If you’re not comfortable trying the Task Manager method, shutting it down usually works.

Contact us at or call the Citizen at 831-3455.

Updated: December 24, 2018 — 10:46 am