Malwarebytes recently reported tech-support scammers have found a way to freeze browsers and make a pop-up security alert showing a fake support number for victims to call. This specific scam is targeting users with the most current version of Chrome on Windows. The browser will begin to rapidly download thousands of files at once that quickly results in Chrome becoming unresponsive. As a result, it is impossible to close tabs or the full browser by using the ‘X’ in the upper right-hand corner.
Once Chrome has frozen completely, a pop-up box claiming to be from a tech-support company will appear on the user’s screen. The pop-up will contain a message prompting the user to contact the phony number on the screen to have their computer unfrozen. Once the number is called, the tech-support scammers will request access to your computer to steal any personal information saved onto the computer.
If you have fallen victim to a tech support scam, follow these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- “Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
- Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.
- If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to gov/complaint.”
- If you’ve given remote access to your computer, take it to a computer professional to clean your computer of malware or other malicious programs.
Malwarebytes, a cybersecurity company, has found that victims can escape the frozen page by going to the Windows Task Manager and force-quitting the browser.