Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

Have authorities detected illegal activities on my computer?

Have authorities detected illegal activities on my computer?

Rate This
  • Comments 69

John writes:

I got an email saying that illegal materials were found on my computer and it would be locked until I paid a fine. Is this a scam?

Yes, this sounds like a common blackmail scam called ransomware. Ransomware is an email, website or pop-up window that displays warnings about possible illegal activities and demands payment before you can access your files and programs again. Delete the email and report it immediately.

Do you think you might have already fallen for a ransomware scam? Find out what to do.

  • All you have to do is to restore you're computer to an earlier time, that takes care of the ransomware.

  • I get those calls and tell them I don't have a computer and ask why they have called.

    They disconnect.

  • Several days ago when accessing ARCAMAX a popup informed me that Microsoft Essentials had spotted several malware programs and that I should run the program shown on the popup in order to get rid of said bad stuff.  I immediately closed IE and ran MS essentials plus Malwarebytes Anti-malware.  Neither one spotted anything wrong, so beware ARCAMAX!!  I looked for a CONTACT US link but found none on ARCAMAX.

  • Do NOT ever give anyone your IP address... I have rec'd calls from people with very heavy accents, claiming to be from Microsoft,  and want access to my computer and then money to 'fix a virus' that my Internet Provider has informed them of.  when I ask who is my Provider, they say it's confidential, and I string them along and finally tell them that I am an IT technician at a very large company, and if they don't stop calling, that I wlll report them to the authorities. They hang up very quickly.  there is usually is no call display phone number to report, and if there is, it's bogus.

    Just don't send money or give info to anyone.

  • Same  thing.  East Indian said was from Microsoft.  I told him no thanks.w

  • Like others I have received calls from a foreigner named John Smith calling from microsoft, he calls all times of day/night even if computer has been off.  I have yelled, threatened to call police, speak to supervisor etc but the calls keep coming.  Called verizon to block but they say they cant block international calls, last number was from canada.

    Had a friend with same problem & he kept guy on phone for an hour before foreigner hung up....

  • I don't even answer my phone if I don't recognize the number. Most legit persons will leave me a voicemail and I can return their call if I choose. My phone is for my convenience....I don't pay the bill for the convenience of others to harass me. And I certainly realize that I don't have to pay a third party in order to have use of my computer. It amazes me just how gullible and what pushovers most people are. I don't understand it.

  • This happends to me on a regular basis. I have hung up on them but they just phone back. Now I just put the phone down and leave. After 5 to 10 minutes I hang it up. As for the 'Ransomeware', to unlock your screen click the bottom of your screen, then click 'Start task manager' . When it is open you will see the locked screen page. Click to highlite it then click 'end task'.  This will get rid of them.

  • I received a similar message.  I shut the computer down.  Rebooted and "recovered" the computer to a time just prior to this "invasion".  I was never annoyed after his episode.

  • I got a call just today from an Asian sounding woman saying that she is calling from Microsoft trying to tell me that my computer is sending many errors to Microsoft and I should do what she told me on my computer. I told her that what she wanted was to get control of my computer. Then she hung up.

  • I had a man call my house this week scary called me by my first name and said he was from Microsoft and they have been getting reports of viruses on my computer. I told him I would have to have direct paperwork to prove who he said he was in my hand before I would ever believe him. He told me he would send me a email to prove it and hung up. I heard other people in the back ground talking and he was foreign . I then went to Microsoft and it says it never cold calls anyone . beware out there of these scammers .

  • Try doing what I did when they called me. First, I acted like I was going to my computer and started putting in the info. Make them wait around 3 minutes and then tell them a message popped up on my computer that I need to read to them. This is what I said to them then "Dear Sir, the info you just had me to type in is linked to the Online Security Center of the FBI of the United States and you are caught". Sorry to say they hung up and have yet to call me back...

  • Haha, when the "East Indian" guy called me, and said there was something wrong with my computer and I needed him to help me, I told him "I am so glad you phoned!  I knew there was something wrong!  I keep seeing aliens on my screen, talking to me!"  Then I started to describe them!  He didn't hang around any longer!!!  Hahahahaha.......

  • I have had many similar phone calls, mostly from people with Indian accents.  I was foolish enough once to let them get control of my PC and then had all sorts of trouble getting it back to normal.  Now I just hang up when they ring purporting to be from Microsoft, but they must have caught thousands of others in their scams.  Surely there must be some way to stop this sort of illegal activity?

  • The man from India has called me dozens of time with all kinds of warnings.

    I finally told him that I beat my computer to pieces with a hammer, because he told me I had a virus in it.

    Boy, did that send him into a loop :-)

    Now when he calls I just tell him that I don't have a computer because it had a virus & died.

Page 2 of 5 (69 items) 12345