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Recipe for success: tech support scammers zero in via paid search

Tech support scammers are known for engaging in a game of whack-a-mole with defenders. Case in point, last month there were reports that crooks had invaded Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to host fake warning pages, also known as browser lockers. In this blog, we take a look at one of the top campaigns that is responsible for driving traffic to those Azure-hosted scareware pages. We discovered … [Read more...]

A week in security (September 10 – 16)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we assessed the security of a portable router, identified ways to waste a scammer’s time, named the many faces of omnichannel fraud, questioned the security of 2FAs, profiled a massive tech support scam operation, and exposed a new HMRC phishing campaign. Other cybersecurity news: Trend Micro addressed the burning questions related to their Mac App store apps … [Read more...]

PSA: Users with landlines are more vulnerable to scams

It’s time to have “the talk” with your parents, relatives, and loved ones. Anyone still using a landline must be warned: having a home phone makes you particularly vulnerable to scams. We know here at Malwarebytes that our readers are often the unofficial “IT” department for their families, relatives, and friends. While suggesting to your folks that they discontinue having a landline might not go … [Read more...]

Fake Malwarebytes helpline scammer caught in the act

An estimated one in every 10 American adults lost money in a cyber scam in the past 12 months, according to a report released by the FTC earlier in the month. On average, each scam victim lost $430, totaling about $9.5 billion overall. To put this in perspective, that’s over 22 million Americans scammed for $26 million a day, more than $1 million an hour, $18,000 per second. No one is immune, and … [Read more...]

A week in security (May 7 – May 13)

Last week on Labs, we looked at the case of a fake Android AV, an annoying adware that goes by the name of Kuik, the return of threat actors behind the Shopper Stop tech scam, a new Netflix phishing scam, the recent zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer, and the insufficiency of merely relying on the presence of the green padlock. Also, in a brief blog post, we talked about why we removed … [Read more...]

Where did the tech support scam blacklist go?

For about five years, we’ve maintained a blacklist of recognized tech support scammers, along with websites and phone numbers they might use to contact victims. The blacklist was part of our Tech support scams: help and resource page, which tells readers how scams work, what tricks to look out for, how to get help after you’ve been scammed, and who to contact to report the scam. The … [Read more...]

Tech support scammer tries to sell free software

AmericaGeeks is your typical tech support scam company, but with an extra warming glow of attitude, greed, and complete all-around rudeness. Most scams will gladly take your money by buttering up the victim while simultaneously scaring them into thinking that they are in a dangerous situation with their computer or device. They then swoop in to heroically “help” them. AmericaGeeks … [Read more...]