Just as I settled down to tackle task at hand, my Firefox browser threw up an ominous warning and froze in place. Leaving me no choice but to read in horror the dreaded words:
“Microsoft Windows has detected the Zeus virus! Do not shut down or restart your computer!
I could not shut this browser window using task manager; it was open and staying there.
Fortunately, a big bold phone number 1-888-501-1836 was there to save me. Specifically announcing it was a Microsoft toll-free support number, I called and was pleasantly surprised to have the call answered immediately by a nice man with a distinct Indian accent.
He assured me he could fix this problem at no charge quickly. I asked him several times if I was speaking with Microsoft support and he assured me I was indeed. In the background, I heard lots of voices, some quite loud. Apparently a very busy place.
In order to resolve this virus issue, he offered to take remote control of my computer to scan it and kill the germ. I was reluctant to do this. He got a little insistent. I t was a sure proof way to protect my computer. Again he reassured me he was a Microsoft tech, but the background shouting and the whole thing started to stink. So I refused to let him dial into my computer remotely and said I would think it over and call back.
Then he got angry and in a harsh voice insisted I must do as he said! So I hung up on him. Then he called me right back and apologized for his rudeness. I hung up on him again.
Then I opened my chrome browser, downloaded a virus scanner called malewarebytes.com. It scanned my computer, found several suspicious files and deleted them. I rebooted and my system was operational again, the frozen Firefox browser happily back at work.
According to my tech colleagues this is a common phishing exercise. They were trying to access my personal information. I am appalled at my own naivete and must admit, they almost had me.
Consider yourself warned!