Beware of Windows 10 Scams
Just a few minutes ago I received an unsolicited email offering a free upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that was launched on July 29th. That ad triggered a flashback to a newspaper article that I had recently read, warning everyone to be suspicious of any emails or pop-ups making such an offer.
Well folks, take warning: Beware of those emails claiming to be from Microsoft letting you know your free update to Windows 10 is waiting — Take heed, it may be from a possible scammer already looking to exploit this new software.
I never cease to be amazed at how quickly some scammer or other unscrupulous person attempts to take advantage of a new program or situation and trick people into falling for some new scam by clicking onto unsafe links or downloading infected files.
According to Cisco’s security research group Talos, it “has identified the latest spam campaign which takes advantage of the interest in Microsoft’s software and sees hackers impersonating the company to exploit its user base. Microsoft is offering free updates to Windows 10 to all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users and is rolling out the update to customers through the Windows Update system, which will automatically inform users when the real update is available.”
How the scam works:
Per Talos, “The cybercrime campaign is being spread using an email claiming to be from Microsoft with the subject line: “Windows 10 Free Update”. The ‘from’ field features the email address firstname.lastname@example.org which appears to be a valid and official address, but as Talos points out, “a quick look at the email header reveals that the message actually originated from IP address space allocated to Thailand”.
Preventative measures to consider:
1. Don’t open attachments in emails unless you who who sent it and what it is. Opening attachments, even if the sender appears to be a friend or member of your family can be risky and result in malware being installed on your computer.
2. Instead of clicking on a link in a suspicious email, directly type the URL of the site you want to reach into your browser. The link may appear legitimate, but clicking on it could download malware or redirect you to a fraudulent site designed to steal your personal information.
3. Download and install software only from websites you know and trust. Risk is occurred when you download free games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars. These enticements may sound appealing, but free software can also contain malware.
4. Use a pop-up blocker; do not click on any link that is blocked. If you do, you may install malware on your computer. Close pop-up messages by clicking on the “X” in the title bar.
5. Avoid purchasing software in response to pop-up messages or emails, especially those that claim to have detected a virus or malware on your computer. This is a common tactic used to spread malware.
Be Aware, Be Computer Savvy and Stay Safe!