News Column

Schuette Warns Consumers of Malicious Software on Personal Devices

June 9, 2014



LANSING, Mich., June 9 -- The Michigan Attorney General issued the following news release:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today warned the public against scam artists and criminals targeting consumers' personal electronic devices through malicious software. Schuette issued a consumer alert through his Consumer Protection Division offering helpful tips to protect phones, tablets, computers, and other mobile technology from malware.

"With a single click, cybercriminals could take control of your personal device at any minute," said Schuette. "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."

Malware is malicious software that causes personal electronic devices to repeatedly crash. Malware also includes spyware designed to monitor computers, has the potential to steal consumers' personal information, or commit other types of fraud. Scammers often create official-looking emails to trick people to download malware that appear to be from governmental offices and businesses. Other personal devices at risk include smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Schuette offered the following tips on how to avoid the risk of Malware:

* 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.

To access the full Attorney General Consumer Alert, "Malware: What is it and How to Avoid It," visit: http://1.usa.gov/1pNbiWS.

For general consumer protection questions or complaints, you may reach the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:

Consumer Protection Division

P.O. Box 30213

Lansing, MI 48909

517-373-1140

Fax: 517-241-3771

Toll free: 877-765-8388

www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)

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Source: Targeted News Service