Friday, March 18, 2016

Windows and Scareware.... some notes

Be careful if you go onto Google Search to find a link to YouTube. Don't click on the first thing at the top of the list, or any saying "Ad". I got a full screen of crap this morning with a repeating recorded message in a woman's voice, telling me to call this Microsoft number with a 202 area code. She also said not to restart the computer because it could result in data loss, and instead to call this number for help removing the infection. I couldn't close that window to shut her up, so I did a reboot, and then a scan, and my machine is clean.

I looked Google for information on the 202 area code, and it is Washington, DC, USA, and Google says that area code is notorious for scams and frauds over the internet. So if you're looking for YouTube's home page, scroll down until you come to one that shows their official URL with an "https" at the beginning. And don't call any phone number you find in a scareware page that pops up. They will want you to grant them remote access to your machine, and if you do that, then it's "game over". You will really be in deep you-know-what.

And if you can't get access to a Windows folder named "$Recycle.Bin" which may contain gigabytes of files from older installs, and you won't get access, because it's a protected file, then change its name to "Windows.old", and then go to Start > All Apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup.  Then use Disk Cleanup to do a scan. It will find that "Windows.old" folder and show it under "Previous Windows Installations" and you can then add a tick mark to its little box, and it will be deleted for you. Problem solved.


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