Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions

Solutions: No legitimate antivirus program pops up, asks for cash

For some time, a box had been coming up saying I had 364 errors. On your advice, I downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials, but the same error box kept appearing. So I checked the "repair now" box and downloaded the program PC Mighty Max at a cost of $29.95. It did take away the errors, but I then remembered that I had already downloaded that same program in July 2009. Should this program have protected me longer than nine months? Shall I contact them and have them refund the extra $29.95 I just paid? As you can surmise, I am fairly new at the computer game and am decidedly a senior citizen.

I'm sorry, but Mighty Max is a scam. It is similar to the AntiVirus 2010 "scareware" virus in that it fools you into downloading what you think is a antivirus program to scan your PC.

But all it does is disable your real antivirus (which is why you still received the errors even after installing Security Essentials) and trick you into making a payment to them. The good news is that other than stealing your money, it usually does not harm your PC other than the nuisance messages. You can get rid of it, but it takes some work.

Some of what I'm about to tell you may seem beyond your level of expertise, so maybe you can get a friend or relative to help you out.

Download and install Malwarebytes' free Anti-Malware from malwarebytes.org. It also has a product for sale, but the free version is all you need for now. Reboot into Safe mode (press F8 while the PC is restarting and choose Safe mode with networking). Run the antimalware program and have it do a full scan. Follow its recommendations to remove any problems it finds. Reboot. Sometimes these scam viruses will persist even after running the Malwarebytes program. In this case, you'll need to download and install ComboFix.exe from combofix.org.

This particular program installs itself under a random name to hide itself from the scamware virus. Follow the instructions found at the download site. This should solve your problem. Remember that no legitimate antivirus program will pop up in a window asking you to download it. These are all scams.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: No legitimate antivirus program pops up, asks for cash 04/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 9, 2010 7:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Maria: Clearwater Coast Guard plane aids rescue near Puerto Rico

    Military

    Eight minutes. That's how long it took the Petty Officer 3rd Class Darryn Manley of the Coast Guard said it took him to spot the boat that capsized off a Puerto Rican island on Thursday.

  2. Mom of girl who died looking for candy seeks to keep husband away

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Eight days after her 4-year-old daughter died in the care of paternal grandparents, pregnant Lizette Hernandez sat in a Hillsborough County courthouse Friday, attempting to seek full-time custody of her 19-month-old son.

    Lizette Hernandez, 22, completes paperwork Friday for a motion for protection from domestic violence against her husband, Shane Zoller. Their daughter, Yanelly, 4, died in a reported gun accident at the home of Zoller's parents Sept. 14. She alleges that her husband hit her and caused her to fall on a grave marker at their daughter's funeral Thursday in a tussle over their remaining 1-year-old son. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  3. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  4. Ed Sheeran coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Let it never be said Ed Sheeran hasn't given the people of Tampa what they want.

  5. Editorial: Once more, homeowners are let down by state housing agency

    Editorials

    Once upon a time, the federal government created a program called the Hardest Hit Fund. Its goal was admirable, and its mission important. The fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession had wreaked havoc on the economy. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington erred in …

    The Hardest Hit Fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington trusted Florida to get that money into the hands of people who needed it most.