Has your computer started acting weirdly?
Do you receive popup messages warning you that your machine is infected despite the fact that you already have an antivirus program installed?
Are you finding it impossible to open your antivirus program?
Will your web browser only take you to one site, a site which tries to persuade you to buy an unknown antivirus solution?
If so, you’ve probably been infected with something called ‘scareware‘ that is designed to trick or worry you into buying fake antivirus.
Scareware – What Next?
Scareware is an increasing threat these days.
Typically it finds it’s way onto your system through infected files or emails but lately it has reportedly been pushed via cold calling too.
What should you do if you have been caught out then?
Firstly, and most importantly, if you have actually been tricked into buying a fake antivirus program then you need to be contacting your bank or credit card company – you may be able to initiate a charge-back to reclaim your money and you may need to check that your card details haven’t been used to put more money in the scammer’s pocket too.
Next, you’ll want to remove the offending software from your computer as quickly as possible.
If your browser is still letting you search the internet and you know the name of the fake antivirus program then you may be able to find a removal tool online, or you could use an online antivirus scanner.
Alternatively, you may need to find a removal tool on another PC and then transfer it over on a disk or removable drive.
The last, and least favourable, option would be to reformat your computer but that would lose all your data (hence why you should always keep backups of important files and programs).
Finally, once you have a system clear of fake antivirus ensure that you install a good quality and genuine antivirus program from a reputable vendor – here are my reviews of what I believe are the best antivirus programs for 2011.