SCAM ALERT: hackers imitate Microsoft program

There is a scam in the area you should know about. In this case, hackers imitate a popular Microsoft program, Security Essentials.

A Newscenter 16 contact, Dreama Jensen, with the Better Business Bureau, says this particular incident happened to her, and she says the methods used were very realistic.

According to Jensen, she was using an unrelated program on her computer when her work suddenly disappeared and a pop-up box showed up instead. The message told her the computer would crash if she didn't follow the steps provided, including the option to "clear."

In this case, the wording of the pop-up and the Microsoft brand name made the scam very realistic. But the red flag, according to Jensen, is the abnormality of the message, since she uses the program frequently and the pop-up had never appeared before.

"I really was stunned, it was just so real," said Jensen. "It had a frame in it that had all the wording in there, and it looks just like Microsoft Security Essentials does. So, I sat there momentarily thinking what to do, I tried to delete it, it wouldn't delete."

Jensen says instead of trying to solve the potentially dangerous problem herself, she called for help.

"Bottom line is, you need to be very, very cautious, don't click on any links that you don't know where they're coming from," said Jensen.

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