Consumer Alert: DATCP Sees Rise in Antivirus Subscriptions Email Scams

Wisconsin consumers are receiving an increasing number of fake antivirus emails from scammers. In the past year, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) received three times the number of complaints from consumers who have lost money to this scam as in the prior year.

These emails often falsely claim that the recipient’s subscription to antivirus software has been automatically renewed, and their bank account will be charged several hundred dollars. The email provides a phony customer service number to call and cancel. Scammers wait for people  to call them and take advantage of those who provide their credit card information, account numbers, passwords, and other information. They have also been known to ask recipients to download a file

Reports to DATCP’s Bureau of Consumer Protection indicate that these phony emails have eventually led to scammers accessing victims’ computers through downloaded files, pop-up windows, or web addresses provided over the phone. Once they have access they can install malware, block you from your files, and steal your financial information.

If you receive a similar email, be wary. Delete the email and do not call any numbers provided in the email. If you have an antivirus subscription and have questions about its status, contact the company through a trusted contact method.