How common is it to get targeted by scareware/ransomware?

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hijackedbrother
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
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My mother just lost money to one of those fake antivirus programs that tells you that you have 50 viruses and you need to pay and download their subscription product to get rid of them. Of course, that's when the scammers took €800 from her.

The bank says they can't do anything about it as it's not a fault on their part (poor security).
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username5383500
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(Original post by hijackedbrother)
My mother just lost money to one of those fake antivirus programs that tells you that you have 50 viruses and you need to pay and download their subscription product to get rid of them. Of course, that's when the scammers took €800 from her.

The bank says they can't do anything about it as it's not a fault on their part (poor security).
Actually targeted? Very uncommon. The vast majority of people don't make good targets to begin with, nor is there sufficient information to target a lot of people directly. What tends to happen, and what likely happened to your mother, is scammers throw out blanket scams, then follow up with the ones that actually fall for it. For example replying to the scam email, or in your mum's case thinking the fake antivirus is correct.

The bank somewhat has a point here. While it was a scam and they can likely take some action, it ultimately wasn't their fault. Unless the money was forcibly taken, your mother would have voluntarily paid the €800 which should really have sent alarm bells ringing. This is fundamentally what scammers prey on, people who really don't know any better for whatever reason, and the bank can't really do anything on that front. Although we don't know what country you're in, and therefore what the laws are, the bank should be somewhat invested in helping though, as scammers are a problem for them as well. It's also the sort of thing you'd want to inform the police of.

I'm not really sure what you're asking though, beyond the original general question. Targeted scams, malware, etc. is really difficult and the returns are rubbish compared to blanket techniques. You need a really high value target to make a targeted attack worthwhile, and it generally makes no sense to go to that effort when you can send out a spam email to thousands or millions of accounts and get a self selecting sample of gullible idiots (I can't think of a nicer way to word this I'm afraid) that'll fall for your scam.
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999tigger
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Report 4 weeks ago
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(Original post by hijackedbrother)
My mother just lost money to one of those fake antivirus programs that tells you that you have 50 viruses and you need to pay and download their subscription product to get rid of them. Of course, that's when the scammers took €800 from her.

The bank says they can't do anything about it as it's not a fault on their part (poor security).
Speak to consumer helpline.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/co...onsumer-issue/
Good idea to have protection on your phone and pc. Expensive lesson.
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RoyalSheepy
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Report 4 weeks ago
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(Original post by hijackedbrother)
My mother just lost money to one of those fake antivirus programs that tells you that you have 50 viruses and you need to pay and download their subscription product to get rid of them. Of course, that's when the scammers took €800 from her.

The bank says they can't do anything about it as it's not a fault on their part (poor security).
Depends. Don’t use dodgy sites and you’ll be at a very low risk.

Use a reputable anti-virus and anti-malware!! These types of scams are usually preventable with adequate security.

Always back up your files. If this did happen then, then you have already have copy of your files and can install a fresh install of windows onto the computer (unless the malware has gone deeper into the system).
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