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dtuleya
05-19-2004, 06:05 AM
Borrowed from another board.

Please beware!!!!

found this on KOMO4.com, Seattle's local news and website.

Watch those pop ups. click on komo4.com for more info.



Pop-up Ad Scams

May 18, 2004

By Connie Thompson


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SEATTLE - A new round of internet hacker fraud is making pop-up ads more than just annoying.

Some ads can leave you with hundreds of dollars in long distance phone bills.

It's a scam that can steal your money even if your computer is turned off.

Marie Cave of Everett is one of the newest victims of an international scam that hides in pop-up ads.

"You're in trouble whether you open the pop up, close the pop up, disconnect from the web.. It's there!" she complained.

Make the wrong click, or even the right one, and you initiate the download of a secret software - an automatic dialer that in effect, takes over your computer.

"You right click to close it, and you can't get rid of it," Cave explained.

Chad, Madagascar, Vanuatu...

The downloaded program disconnects from the internet, then reconnects to international long distance numbers in places like Chad, Madagascar and the island of Vanuatu west of Fiji.

Or in Cave's case, the latest pop-up up scam center, Sao Tome, off the coast of West Africa.

It amounted to $220 worth of calls she knew nothing about.

"And they say we're responsible to pay the bill. It's not fair!" she griped.

Phone companies across the world are constantly trying to chase down the crooks.

Some companies have begun to credit consumers for the fraudulent calls, but many are reluctant to take the hit - saying when you're on the internet, you're in control of where you go.

That's the position of Cave's phone company, Verizon.

"We're sympathetic to the situation that some customers find themselves in," said Kevin Laverty of Verizon. "At the same time the websites and the actual dialing are the responsibility of the customer."

Now, Cave has ordered an international block on her phone lines. She has to clean everything out of her hard-drive and spend money on new virus and firewall protection.

As for that $220 dollar bill?

"Right now it's in dispute so they're not holding me accountable yet," she said. But eventually they're going to make me pay it."

Dial-Up Modems Vulnerable

The hackers can only get into computers with dial-up modems for internet. If you don't want to upgrade to broadband, the Federal Communications Commission says the best protection is to call your local phone company and get an international block on your computer like Cave did, so no long distance calls can be made.

You should also be extremely careful to read all the fine print in pop-up ads before you click to open. Pop-ups with download options should, but may not always, have a disclaimer that reveals possible charges.

If you suspect you're being hit with a hidden pop-up download, disconnect your computer from your phone line so it cannot be used to route long distance calls.

For More Information:

Internet Modem Switch Scam

Police Investigate Phone Scam

Sao Tome Phone Scam Strikes Again

Phone Bill Shocker

Beanie
05-19-2004, 06:40 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Denise!!

I just love my DSL! ;)

Maleficent2
05-19-2004, 07:11 AM
but since all DH family is in the UK that is not a possibility. Will call ATT and see if we can block calls to every other country though.




Mal

Maleficent2
05-19-2004, 10:15 PM
giving this a bump for those who did not see it.


Mal