Don't Fall for Scams
Popup messages warning you about malware are scams.
Do not click to "download antispyware", do not click to "update Windows antivirus", do not call the phone number.
These are just as bogus as the phone calls claiming to be from Microsoft or your ISP. They want you to install spyware or give them your credit card number.
Hang up on those phone calls. Ignore these popups.
How can you clean up?
Close all your browser windows. Make sure to close all of them, it may have also opened a small window that "popped under" an existing window so you don't notice it.
Once in a while it will be worse, it will keep re-opening a new window. Browsers shouldn't do that any more, see the earlier page about updating your software.
If you can't kill off the browser process, on Linux or other UNIX-family operating systems, run whichever of these commands corresponds to the misbehaving browser:
$ pkill chrome $ pkill chromium $ pkill firefox
On Windows, right-click on the task bar, start the
Task Manager, and find and terminate the browser processes.
iexplorer.exe is a browser,
explorer.exe is the desktop itself.
Why do these popups appear?
You have looked at a hostile page with your browser. How did that happen?
Maybe you simply wandered into the hostile page.
For quite a long time, the
for Forbes magazine was hosting ads
with hostile content.
I'm not sure, it still may be.
Look at the Forbes website, and you might
be bothered with popup scams.
Maybe the site was hacked, its content replaced with something that tries to trick people with popups
You may have clicked on a link in an email that you thought came from a friend. Many Facebook users connect their entire "Contacts" database to Facebook. Even if you don't use Facebook, someone who knows you may have done this. Attackers "scrape" sites like Facebook to build databases of email addresses and connections between people.
I know someone who apparently only uses Facebook, he doesn't seem to use email. I haven't received an actual email from him for a number of years now. But at least once a week on average, I get an email that appears to be from him.
The "From" field has his name. As for the source address, sometimes it has the username of his actual email account with a number added to the end. Sometimes it's something randomly different. Then it's at some random domain. Here's a screenshot of the list in my Trash folder:
Looking at those messages, the "From" fields are:
John Kamman <email@example.com>
John Kamman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Kamman <email@example.com>
John Kamman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Kamman <email@example.com>
John Kamman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Kamman <email@example.com>
The Subject is either "Re: to" or "Fwd: for", then my name.
The body is simple text, something like:
when you have a few minutes you my want to have a look at this
I hope all is well. Just thought you may want to have a look at this
Hope you're having a great day. I thought you might appreciate this
When you have a minute or two you may want to have a look at this
I thought you would appreciate it
Just wanted to share what I ran into the other day. You would probably want to have a look
When I found this page the other day I though of you. So I decided to share it with you
That is then followed by a URL. Looking at the headers, these messages are sent from IP addresses that have nothing to do with me, the purported sender, or the claimed "From" email address.
Next❯ Be a safe "Road Warrior"