A good friend of mine knows all about phishing and never to visit unknown websites – or to open unexpected attachments. Even so, last Friday night at 11:30pm he received a file he was expecting from a known colleague.
The files were big and were sent through Sendspace. When he got it he clicked on Sendspace after which a prompt popped up and informed him that he needed a software upgrade to gain access. So far so good.
As this was not all that unusual, he clicked on the upgrade and in a millisecond opened the floodgate to malware, adware and a very unpleasant near-virus called Trovi. His Kaspersky anti-virus program clicked into frantic action and began removing the malicious malware but could not remove Trovi.
Trovi highjacks your search engine and directs you to places you would rather not be. As a computer tech explained, “It’s like having someone break into your house and leaves your back door wide open.”
After some investigation, it appears that Trovi will not leave the computer easily. The various instructions to get rid of it by far exceeded his competency so he will need to spend $120 to have the virus or near-virus removed, plus $59 for a back-up drive that will also need to be scanned for viruses.
The big worry of course is unwanted back-ups of your files to some other location where personal and financial information may be found – or other nasty criminal activities that include identity theft.
The Better Business Bureau’s top 10 scams for 2014 may also help people avoid becoming a victim.
The short list is as follows:
- Top Advertising Scam: Astroturfing
- Top Love Scam: Catphishing
- Top Online Scam: Enterprise Fee Scheme
- Top Financial Scam: Affinity Fraud
- Top Sales Scam: Curbers
- Top Mail Scam: Lottery Scams
- Telemarketing Scams – The Unknown Caller
- Top Youth Scam: The Insta Scam
- Top Business Scam: Pretender Scam
- Scam of the Year: Celebrity Gossip Spam
Let’s stay safe out there!