Protecting your devices from cryptojacking

Share this page

Instead of min(d)ing their own business, are scammers using your computer as their virtual ATM? Three years ago, the FTC warned the public and took action against cryptojacking. That’s where scammers use your device’s processing power to “mine” cryptocurrency, which they can then convert into cold, hard cash.

Cryptojacking scams have continued to evolve, and they don’t even need you to install anything. Scammers can use malicious code embedded in a website or an ad to infect your device. Then they can help themselves to your device’s processor without you even knowing. You might make an unlucky visit to a website that uses cryptojacking code, click a link in a phishing email, or mistype a web address. Any of those could lead to cryptojacking. While the scammer cashes out, your device may slow down, burn through battery power, or crash.

So what can you do? Try the following:

  •  Follow tried-and-true advice for avoiding malware: use antivirus software, set software and apps to update automatically, never install software or apps you don’t trust, don’t click links without knowing where they lead, and be careful about visiting unfamiliar sites.
  •  Look for and close performance hogs: It can be hard to diagnose cryptojacking, but one common symptom is poor device performance. Consider closing sites or apps that slow your device or drain your battery.
  •  Consider playing defense: Some browser extensions and ad blockers say they help defend against cryptojacking, doing things like blocking mining code. These tools may be worth considering, but always do your homework first. Read reviews and check trusted sources before installing any online tools. Remember, too, that some websites may keep you from using their site if you have blocking software installed.

If you think cryptojacking has happened to you, the Federal Trade Commission wants to know. Report it to www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: cryptocurrency, scam

Comments

This is an awesome article & I am going to share this. Thank you so much!!! GREAT information.

Creditwise(company) sent a credit inquiry for me to sign-up, not sure it's right. they said they are with Capital One. Sounds strange and I can't get registered. I don't want it. I think it's not legitimate.

call capital one and find out???????

Mattie not sure what your email is, if it is Outlook it shows the full email address of the sender and also if you hover over a link it will show the link address. If it is a legit email from say Capital One it will show something like JJones @ Capitalone. com not a gmail or other non company email. Delete these immediately.

I received a letter from CreditWise said my profile was created but they closed it because they believe this profile may not have been created by me. They are right. I did not created the profile. Maybe someone tried to create your profile.

While working as an U.S. Army CONTRACTOR from 2001 to 2008 at TACOM, WARREN, MI AND SELFRIDGE ANGB, MI I noticed their server was using Norton and it's affiliate for protection. I procured a personal laptop from dissolved COMPUSA (East Lansing, MI). When I tried to pay credit card ACCOUNT for their service; they took my account no. Charged my card and DID NOT GIVE ME THEIR APP PROGRAM ON MY LAPTOP! I think I reported it to my private contract co. IT manager and an Army IT person; worried NORTON was doing or could corrupt the federal army server!
I had Defense Intelligence Agency agents training on OPSEC. I think I told (this is 2007) the DIA AGENT because they told me to make sure my Internet connection was turned OFF when I downloaded the OPSEC CD INTO THE CORRUPT COMPUSA LAPTOP. I DON'T KNOW IF THE CABLE COMPANY AND MSU WHERE MY EX WOMAN TAUGHT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DYSFUNCTIONAL ACTIONS WITH NORTON OR NOT BACK THEN. ALL I COULD DO WAS OBSERVE AND REPORT.

myself I have LifeLock Identity Theft Protection if if this happens to me parently it would be Google's is the hacker Google's is the blame let put Google's out of business

Google is who gave me the malware and now stole my identity!!!google play store!

Everyone beware of Google's Google save your information sells it. Hackers and hackers use your information slow down your device by your IP address Google's need to be put out of business for allowing hackers to do this and I think Google's need to be put behind bars

Yes!!! Google play is who has taken over my life and stole my identity! Google is a fraud. Facebook is right there with them!

I receive daily calls saying they are Microsoft that I have Red robin virus in my PC that can damage my Laptop PC. But, I never answer because I know it is a spam and call try to enter my PC . I have been spammed & ripped off for over $ 1,000. so, i never answer anymore of those calls.

Same thing happened to me, only I'm very niave, my husband tells that all the time, I tend to believe people. I waS STUPID enough to let them in my computer. And, my internet IP address was hacked. I didn't pay them any money, thankfully, but We had to spent a lot of money to restore settings on computers and remove malware, and virus.

I am at the stage where I am shutting off the world because of people like these that create hardships for others. It is too bad for I know that my actions are not alone and see a change coming from disassociation caused by technology.

@ Paul ...same here, I trust NO one these days.

Very beneficial info!

Just received a threatening tax email threatening my arrest if i do not contact this number in california 209 268 2681 on june 5 a12:39 pm

Report it on the FTC's complaint page. They do not take complaints from blog posts.

The IRS will never call or email unless you call or email them first. They will always send you an official letter through regular mail saying either you are being audited, or that you have taxes due. Further they do not threaten you with jail time. In fact, they tell you about your right to contest it if you do not agree and what you can do. Further more the police do not take request to arrest people who are behind in their taxes. This is a scam-don't fall for it!

Happened to me, but by phone call from a California number. Instructed me to pay by some card that made no sense concerning IRS. I didn't go for that. Reported to FTC

Thank you FTC for staying on top of these things! I have been studying crypto-currencies lately and was intrigued by this.

how many complaints would you like before you respond? 1. pc health . 2. Fake dell support 3. windows pop up. 4. Verizon Tech Coach employee gained access after phone went black. he said plug into computer-go to google play after being disconnected he called back but apparently was now using a profile of someone else to access my pc once had the access he left work with it and continued his remote access which implanted a cryptlocker. it was on there until found october 2014 when I tried to check my "identity protection" which I then had at Wells Fargo. The date was in the future, I logged out, called the number and bank then FTC. Wells Fargo still has not reimbursed the loss (im so shocked -sarcastic) INCIDENT 5.
Kaspersky Total Security was put on the computer after being totatally wiped in Oct 2014 and Kaspersky Total has a window tells you do updates whats wrong, go to my kaspersky yada yada. ok, I knew something looked odd in my folder view and icons were gone I went to my kaspersky...they said do a "get system info.zip and send it. ok did this I sent my system to well you know. Next they tell me call Premium support for $165.00 to remote in and fix it. Well this at the time was suppose to be the best security so alright. this lady makes a Tech admin folder and knocks out my compsite battery link to create her own local remote wifi as HKEY/System/Users/User/local/low/tech/C:$ and the rest means my computer had a 2nd adminustrator for about a year now and we have had to spend crazy money my identity I should just paint on my house. Your not helping me or stopping them.
I bought a new pc thanks wow but the companies i listed did enough damage to me. I complete an affidavit for an event like I am suppose to and what is the outcome? how long will I see tech support scandal to no avail. how about hacked all you have all your passwords all your accounts oh dont forget my id affidavit guys thats downloaded online they got that too. So now what exactly do you plan to do ? Stop telling me file a complaint you have them already how about answer them.

If you reported identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov you can use the identity theft report yourself to correct problems. The FTC will not respond to the report you submitted. You can create a recovery plan with detailed steps to take, and use the sample letters and forms to inform businesses. Use the letters - plus a copy of your identity theft report - to get records about the theft, deal with debt collectors and block fraudulent information from your credit report.

Dear Bridget,
I was told by a very helpful FTC employee in 2015 that it i seem to have Identity Theft with a Purpose(beyond financial gain). I am now on my 7th year of identity, financial, computer, & harassment attacks. I am battling adrenal fatigue & even worse health issues related to long-term chronic stress. As a single mom of 2 kids, one with autism, I NEED a human being, in person, to help complete all of the steps.
i have tried my Hardest to complete everything but literally I get "hit" in some way every week or two, thus stopping my progress, stealing not only my money, precious time with my children and now my health! Please please, can u arrange someone on a local level or rather Ill fly to D.C. to the FTC office for help. I need everything rectified all at the same time. i cannot DO this anymore. The Attorney Generals office has given me address/personal info confidentiality & I am working through those steps as best i can.
Please please help me. This has affected My children greatly as they've seen me work days(whoops...years) on end while still getting attacked in every way u can imagine. (it gets a bit creepy when upon return from traveling i find out someone has changed my AAA email address to someone else's, thus giving someone access to our whereabouts.) local law enforcement is tired of hearing from me & just tell me to file reports.
are there GRANTS for severe victims that would enable hiring a professional?
desperate for so long i am near giving up. Ill be on welfare soon after years of working & paying taxes. This must be happening to others.
most sincerely,(no longer a) Trailblazer

You could contact the Identity Theft Resource Center at idtheftcenter.org or 888-400-5530. The Center is a non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases.

I relate. What happened? Did you get help? Please send me any information on this you can about where to get help when you are getting overwhelmed.

next time just email a number of how many complaints on file = a resuponse.

I am getting information (Presumably) from Microsoft while using HGTV and looking at one of their links? I hope that this is not playing a role in the use of my computer?

Oh I'm sure that's going on!! 25 - 40 calls EVERYDAY, for over 3 months now. Since going with new cell company. Just icing on cake, however. I have had a hacker for about 5 years. First with AT&T, who could get rid of. I switched to T-MOBILE, and it got really bad! I kept waiting for them to say "SMILE, YOUR ON CANDID CAMERA". The money they got from me and the things that happens was "UNBELIEVABLE"! I HAVE NOTES AND PROOF. SO AFTER TRYING EVERYTHING AGAIN I CHANGED COMPANIES. BTW THERE IS 4 OF US. THE HACKER JUST FOLLOWS. BUT THATS WHEN CALLS STARTED. SOOO FED UP!!!

This explains why my pc occasionally locks up. Grrrrrrr

Last May 2017, I received a call from a guy calling himself Ron from my legitimate computer security company. He provided my account number and told me it was time for my monthly security check as stated in my contract. We both logged on to my computer and "Ron" started the security scan process to look for malware. We both stayed logged during the entire process. When the scan and maintenance were complete, we both logged off the computer with no malware found.
Approximately two weeks later, Ron calls me to conduct the monthly security scan and maintenance, giving me my account number to let me know whom I was speaking to. I let Ron know that we just did the scan and maintenance two weeks ago. That's when Ron informed me that he had not completed the necessary scan or maintenance on my computer for over 7 weeks now and started requesting info as to why I thought we had completed it two weeks ago. Now I should state that Ron and I don't always complete the security scan exactly every 4 weeks due to my not being home near my computer every time he calls me. During those times we end up scheduling a set day and time when we are both available.
Ron and I immediately logged onto my computer so he could review what work was done or even damage to the computer. Ron found that whomever accessed my computer 2 weeks ago, actually cancelled my security license I had purchased 6 months prior for $350, and then set my computer programs to accept remote access at all times without my having to be logged on at the same time. He (Ron) also was able to show me how many times my computer was remotely accessed during that 2 week timeframe, over 1700 times.
I was fortunate that no financial data was stolen to be used maliciously, however the FTC's message now tells me what my computer could have been used for. I received excellent computer security habits from the legitimate Ron and the only negative thing that happened is I had to pay another $500 for a new computer security license and extra safety features to keep my computer off limits.
I cannot stress to others enough, if it is too good to be true, don't risk it Also, investigate every company and phone number you have never dealt with before. Just 'google' the name or phone number, you might save yourself alot of headache!

Thank you for this great information.

Your information is Great !!! And I really appreciate it. I just received an email from someone
who said they needed my help in wanting to have be set up a bank account so she could send millions of dollars from France and pay me to do so !!! I did not
reply but blocked her from sending anymore messages.
This works well I block companies and people I don't know who sound like scams.

Very good news was to believe my laptop is really sudden a few months ago bored like a snail, and I do not know why I can not cling to synonymous my brother who handles very well with computer can not explain why he has become slow. Can you help me??? Thank you

If your computer is infected with malicious software, your computer can become slow. Malicious software is also called "malware." If you think your computer is infected with malware you can:

  • Update the security software on your computer. Then run a scan on your computer to look for for viruses and spyware. Delete anything the scan identifies as a problem. After you delete the problems, you may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  • Check your browser. See if the browser includes tools that will delete malware. Or, you could reset the browser to the  original settings.
  • If there is a warranty that covers your computer and offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer. Before you call, write down the model and serial number of your computer, the name of any software you've installed, and a short description of the problem.
  • Consider going to a local store that offers tech support.

Same here, calls all day & night, even 2 & 3 AM, saying "they were Monitoring our credit card accts, for the past 6 months", .. offering a GREAT Deal for lower rates, as they were so impressed by our payment history, " etc .... FINALLY changed our number, and have it "non-published." Only gave it to VERY close friends, family members, .. not to be given to ANYONE, "Under pain of death" without our approval !! Peace & Quiet at last !!!!!!

I have not only received an email but a phone call from supposedly Apple claiming that my device/appleid has been compromised. I never seen anyone attached to my appleid when I check and I've never known Apple to call you due to this. Has anyone else? I sent an email to Apple, waiting on response now.

Every morning between 6:15 a.m.to 9:15:a.m. HST I would receive various calls from various phone numbers. This morning I received one from phone # (480)409-1562. Because I now have my phone on Do Not Disturb they caller left this message "This an attempt from IRS to contact you. If you do not respond to this number by today the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you."

The day prior to this call I had gone online to look up some information regarding retirement. Thinking I was in a legit SSA website I started filling out their online request form. Just before submitting there is a section that offers Add Extra Security to do so you must select one of three choices 1) the last 8 digits from your Visa, MasterCard, or Discover card, 2) information from W-2 tax form, 3) information from a 1040 Schedule SE(self employment) tax form. I became suscipious and decided not to complete the process. I went back to all the previous screens and deleted my info which also included my SS#. The following is the website I was in Social Security Administration (US)  secure. ssa. gov/ RIR/ Cats. o

You can add protection to your Social Security account online, but you don't have to give information from a tax form or credit card to add the security.

This blog from the Social Security administration tells how to create your online account, and add a second layer of security.

So reassuring to know you all are aware and top of latest of possible scammers- It is so tiring to see this happen day after day.

Thank you for all your hard work

A grateful subscriber

Capital One is having problems with people trying to add people to accounts by posing as the account holder! I have just been through this!

I am being hacked

LOTSA INFO TO COMPREHEND, BUT ALSO VERY "INTERESTING"

I received a call today from an automated message stating it was the IRS, that 4 charged had been filed against me and that I had to call them back at (315)232-8842 within 24 hours to avoid being arrested. I believed this to be a scam so I called the number back and gave the guy a made up name Dob and address he proceeded to tell me I owed $3500 and that if I didn't pay it immediately that i would be arrested and taken to federal prison, my drivers license revoked and everything i owned confiscated. I proceeded to tell him that their call was a scam and that none of the information I gave them was real and that I was reporting them. He came back n told me he knew I lied even knew my real name then said since I lied that they would be here to arrest me with in 2 hours. Initially they scared me but after reading the IRS website on impersonation calls I found out that the real IRS never demands money immediately during the call as you have a right to dispute it and they never threaten putting you in jail or suspending your drivers license during any call. Beware and good luck. It's sad that it's coming to a point you practically have to choose to trust No one just to be safe.

Last week I got a call from car care about a car I did not own. Today it was from job care, they had a job from me. Probably next week it will be home care or health care. I get calls at least 3 or 4 times a day, sometime I answer I never say yes or ok , they try to get you to say that , like can you hear me ok. I am so disgusted that if I don't recognize the caller I wont answer and they don't leave a message. They need to get a job, a real one.

I received one of those IRS calls, threatening me with immediate arrest if I didn't pay, blah blah blah. Thanks to this web site and AARP magazine, I knew I had a scammer on the line. I asked for the name of the Judge who authorized the arrest, then asked if I should expect the State Police, County Sheriff's department, local Constable, Secret Service, FBI, U S Marshall or a Tribal Officer. Surprisingly he gave me a name of a "Judge" and said it would be the County Sheriff who would arrest me. I just responded, "Great! My husband is the Sheriff (he's not). This will be very interesting when he comes home.". The caller hung up! I did not get any more IRS scam calls, but still get plenty of others. If I don't recognize tge number on my caller ID, I just don't answer.

Leave a Comment