copyright the Chronicle April 26, 2017
by Elizabeth Trail
BARTON — Sharon Bickford of Barton was on Facebook one evening last week when her computer screen suddenly froze. A window popped up, flashing an ominous warning — her computer was under a virus attack, and had been frozen to protect her files.
That’s the first step in a scam that’s been happening to a lot of people lately. It happened to me twice in the week before Ms. Bickford called the Chronicle with her story.
In fact, it’s happened so often lately that the State Police put out a bulletin last week warning people about tech support scams.
The popup message on Ms. Bickford’s computer told her to call a toll-free number immediately so that a technician could remove the infected files and restore her computer.
“It was completely frozen,” Ms. Bickford said. “I had to use control-alt-delete to get out of my browser. And then when I reopened the browser, it was back.”
Ms. Bickford called the number.
The man on the other end of the line said he needed remote access to her computer to fix the problem.
He told her it would cost $300 to remove the virus and install three years’ worth of anti-virus protection.
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