Beware of Forum Phishers

“…we will have to delete your account and forward a complaint to your ISP…”

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Good thing it’s a bluff. If you participate in online forums, there’s a chance you have received a private message like this from someone claiming to be a forum administrator. Don’t trust it!

This is actually a scam designed to trick you into installing a rogue antivirus on your computer. It will claim to find numerous viruses and offer to clean them up for a small fee, but it will actually giveyou some nasty bugs and sell your credit card number to boot! If you ever get a message like this, verify it with the real site administrators before taking it seriously, and don’t click on any links it might contain.

Here are a few clues that will help you identify similar scams:

  1. Poor grammar or vocabulary, indicating a non-native English speaker.  Most viruses and phishing scams seem to originate overseas.
  2. It’s unsolicited. You will almost never receive a virus or similar warning from a person or a company with whom you don’t already have an “antivirus” relationship.
  3. It asks you to give them a password, an email account, or other personal information just for “confirmation”, of course.

If you have any doubts, talk to the website owner or webmaster.

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