By Edward Cardenas
LANSING (CBSDetroit.com) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an alert to consumers warning of a scam targeting personal electronic devices through malicious software.
The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division alerted users of personal electronic devices that scam artists and criminals are using malware – which is malicious software – to attack phones, tablets, computers and other mobile devices.
“With a single click, cybercriminals could take control of your personal device at any minute,” said Schuette in a release. “I urge Michigan citizens to protect their electronic devices from vicious software that wreaks havoc, opening the door for criminals to access your personal information.”
According to the attorney general’s office, which along with the Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers whose computers are infected, malware can cause devices to repeatedly crash. It can also monitor computers, steal personal information from devices and other fraud. The scammers get access to devices by creating official looking emails which trick people to download malware from apparently officials government offices and businesses.
To avoid being a victim, Schuette recommends:
– Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any file from emails.
– If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply and do not click on the link.
– If you receive an email from a familiar online merchant, before opening, compare the order number to the receipt printed.
– If you are concerned with the legitimacy of an email, contact the organization mentioned in the email to gain further information.
– Install anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software on your personal devices and keep them up-to-date.
For more information, or to report incidents of malware infection, call (517) 373-1140 or www.michigan.gov/ag.