SCAMMERS are sending malicious Microsoft Office files and tricking their unintended victims into opening them, tech owners have warned.
Users of Windows version 2008 and software Windows 7-10 are mainly affected by malware.
Hackers are reportedly sending a Microsoft Office file, tricking Americans into clicking on the link.
The file opens Internet Explorer to load a malicious webpage, which contains a virus-downloading ActiveX control.
EXPMON’s Hyphy Lee told outlet Bleeping Computer that the “sophisticated attack” is 100 percent effective and would only take a user to click the link before a PC or laptop was infected.
Owners say customers should keep their anti-virus products up to date.
Microsoft also opens online documents in Safe View before they are saved to the hard drive to prevent malware from being downloaded.
Technical experts also recommend users to disable ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer to prevent unintentional infections.
The tech giant’s warning came after the FBI alerted Americans to a “troubling scam” that sees callers pretending to be border control agents.
Scammers are reportedly telling unsuspecting victims that their car was loaded with drugs.
Attackers are using technology to change their phone numbers to masquerade as federal officials.
A scammer attempted to defraud an ABC7 reporter, calling her from a phone number that was identical to her work line.
The call said that US Customs and Border Protection officials had confiscated the reporter’s car because it was loaded with drugs and urged her to press 1 to speak to a CBP officer.
The reporter clicked on the number and a man on the other end claimed to be a Customs and Border Protection officer, but when asked where he was calling from, his answer was “Afghanistan”.
FBI Special Agent Cara Sammartino advised people who have received such calls to report the incident to their local FBI office.
And, a con artist claiming to be a beauty agent persuaded a woman to shave her head for thousands of dollars.
Megan Randolph of Layton, Utah, was targeted by text as part of an “online campaign” in exchange for cash.
But the money never came and the scammer, who claimed to be a representative of Redken beauty and hair care products, disappeared with the phone number that is now out of service.
Randolph told KUTV: “I’m a little devastated… but it’s just hair and it’ll grow back. I wasn’t deceived by anything, but it’s malicious; it’s 100 percent brutal.”
Reports of crypto-fueled scams have become more prominent as the popularity of digital currencies such as bitcoin has increased.
Since last October, nearly 7,000 people in the US have reported losses of more than $80 million as a result of the scams, according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data.
This number is about 12 times or 1,000 percent higher than the loss in the year-ago period.
Many attacks will try to masquerade as a government agent, while giveaway scams often masquerade as celebrities asking victims to send bitcoins.
Many giveaway scams are marketed on social media, attempting to connect through sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
But Americans have been warned as some scam operations have started using dating apps as well.
Cryptocurrency involved about 20 percent of the money lost through dating scams during the past year.
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