Scammers Use Fake Windows 10 Overlay to Trick Victims

By Bill Toulas / January 7, 2020

As reported by Bleeping Computer, there’s a new scam that is going on right now involving the use of a fake Windows 10 desktop overlay with the Chrome browser open. The fake image puts the browser on full-screen mode and claims that the browser of the victim has been locked by the Police. The reason for this lock-down is allegedly an investigation that takes place on the victim’s system, who is somehow connected with children pornography, zoophilia, and rape material. To make things convincing, the scammers have thrown in some official police logos and use the right URL too.


Source: Bleeping Computer

Of course, as this takes place in a fake image and not in an actual browser, the scammers can simulate anything they want and make it look perfectly legitimate. Depending on the victim’s location and system language, the scamming platform will display the corresponding local police emblem and change the language to match it. The case in this campaign is to trick people into paying about $800 using their credit card, in order to unlock their system. The scammers present this as a fair fine, but the scheme should be obvious to everyone as there’s no way to pay your way out of trouble when dealing with Police investigating child pornography cases. There are no fines that can diminish the gravity of such acts, and yet people are still falling victims to this.

Clearly, the key here is the element of panic that hits the recipients of these messages. Most of the victims have no involvement in the distribution of underage material, and yet seeing their system locked down and being offered with a way out through the paying of a fine seems to work for them. The trick of pushing a full-screen overlay with a fake Chrome browser on its center is definitely helping the crooks convince the victims of the credibility of the situation.

The mere hitting of “F11”, or “Alt+Tab”, or “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” would help bring the victims back to reality (and their real desktop). As long as the victim stays trapped inside the fake overlay, Start Menu is unclickable, closing or launching apps is disabled, and the only thing that is usable is the credit card details form. Of course, if the victim enters their details there, not only the $800 will fly off and onto the scammers pockets, but also their credit card data.

Have you had an experience with a fake browser lock like the one described above? Feel free to share the details with us in the comments down below. Additionally, you may join the discussion on this or any other topic on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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