An image of a letter being caught by a fishing pole with the text "Gone Phishing"

Menu Display


Asset Publisher

NEWS: Don't fall for fake pop-ups!

Website pop-ups are very common. You visit a website and a new browser window comes up with an advertisement or a policy notice that requires you to click "accept" to continue. Usually they go away by closing the window. And the far majority of them are absolutely harmless.

Unfortunately, cyber criminals leverage this normal activity and create malicious pop-ups that are scams designed to trick people into giving out personal or financial information. Mostly, they are after money - trying to convince people to pay them to enter a raffle, buy a product, or provide virus-elimination services.

Some examples include:

  • An invitation to take a survey
  • Signing up for a contest
  • Proclaiming that your computer is infected with a virus or malware
  • Advertisements that can't be closed

Here are some ways to identify malicious pop-ups:

  • Request for payment - a pop-up claims that you have a virus or malware and you need to pay to get rid of it, or call a phone number for assistance.
  • Sense of urgency - a fake pop-up usually tries to scare you so you react impulsively and pay for something, with words such as "act now" or "expires soon" or claiming your computer may may stop working imminently.
  • Grammar and spelling - similar to malicious emails, many of these pop-ups have small spelling and grammer mistakes.

What you should do:

If you see a pop-up and you aren't sure it is real, stop using your computer immediately and contact the Help Desk right away for assistance.