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Talking computer pop-up frightens local woman

Scary Alexa from another world
Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 07:59:37-04

We've all been on our phone or laptop when, suddenly, a pop-up ad tells us "congratulations" or warns us about some "urgent" problem with our computer.

CLICK HERE to learn how to stop "Congratulations" ads on your smartphone

Most of us now recognize these as scams, and try to close them out as soon as possible.

But a Delhi Township, Ohio woman says the newest one spooked her -- because not only did it lock up her computer screen, but then it began talking.

Strange female voice

Connie Heintz was on her Mac, checking an online shopping order on Amazon, when, she said, "All of a sudden, I get a pop-up window."

The window contained a warning that her computer had been infected. But what happened next startled her even more.

She heard a strange female voice -- like another world's Siri or Alexa -- coming from her speakers.

"This is an important security message," it said.

She was startled.

"A voice started speaking to me, telling me that my computer was infected with a virus," she said.

Heintz says she has been hit with malware pop-ups before and knows to close them out. But she wondered if this one might be legitimate because of the urgent voice.

"Please call the number on your screen as soon as possible," it said.

Newest version of 'Microsoft scam'

Information technology expert John Andrea, of Mobile Technology Solutions, told me a few months ago he is seeing this talking tech scam more and more.

In reality, he said, it is caused by malware that slips into your Mac or PC from a website, and there's nothing wrong with your computer.

"The entire time, your computer doesn't have a problem at all. They are just telling you that it has a problem," he said.

He said if you close the box (try Control-Alt-Delete on a PC), or hard shutdown your computer, it usually goes away.

But, he said, people are calling the phone number and giving their credit card to have their computer fixed -- when it reality they are just lining the pockets of scammers.

Andrea said Microsoft or Apple will never call you or put a pop-up on your computer telling you that you need to call a phone number or pay to have your device repaired.

Connie Heintz just wants others to know about this, because, she said, "It was frightening!"

As always, don't waste your money.


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