Beware the “Reader” Phishing Scam
By Elton Camp
I had considered myself practically immune to phishing scams, but I found out differently last night. While I was doing some online searches, just as I often do, when my virus scan noted that a trojan type virus had made its way onto my computer, but that it had been removed. Thankful for the virus protection, I continued to work. After a few minutes, a familiar looking red logo with the word “Reader” suddenly appeared, asking to install the latest update. “That’s Adobe Reader,” I foolishly assumed and clicked for the update from the useful and trusted provider.
To my dismay, the bogus “Reader” and two other programs began to insinuate themselves and there was no clickable option to decline them. I soon learned a concept new to me called “bundling.” Unwelcome pop-ups began to appear, offering “financial” advice and opportunities. Far worse, key words in my hundreds of poems and articles posted online were instantly converted into blue hyperlinks that led to a highly questionable source. Readers of my online material were also about to undergo attack if they clicked any of the hyperlinks!
I quickly went to Control Panel and uninstalled the three bogus programs. The hyperlinks vanished and no more pop-ups appeared. After several more minutes, my usually excellent virus scanner apparently caught on to what had taken place and informed me of the “bundling” and gave an option to delete the material.
I had let the word “Reader” and the knock-off logo of Adobe Reader deceive me. Don’t let this happen to you!