So, even though most people have abandoned it, I still use AIM to talk with a few friends every so often. Today, I turned it on to find an automated message saying that the version I'm using (along with third party applications like Pidgin) will be unable to sign in starting in late March, and that I should update to the newest version. I went to AIM's website, got the newest version download, and started it up.
The very first thing that happened was a pop-up box appearing over AIM with the following:
** YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN BLOCKED **
Error # 268D3
Please call us immediately at: +18889699461
And provide your computer ID: 43191
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a virus and spyware. The following information is being stolen:
> Facebook Login
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Login
> Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent you computer from being disabled.
Obviously just a scam, but I immediately disabled my internet connection just in case. Turned out to be a good thing, too, because closing the box prompted it to attempt to open up multiple windows in my browser trying to load a website. (tojeod dot com, plus some string of letters and numbers that I didn't copy down. Probably better not to link it directly anyway.) I closed everything out and did a scan, and it doesn't seem to have actually infected my computer or anything, hence why I'm not posting in the malware section. Trying to open AIM a second time produced the same results.
Basically, it doesn't appear to be damaging my computer (though the tojeod popup might if allowed to connect), but it leaves AIM completely inaccessible. Does anyone have insight into this? I assume it's coming through the ad bar on AIM, but I'd have thought the people over at AOL would've noticed that already.
If anyone plans testing this themselves, I'd highly recommend being ready to disable your internet at a moment's notice, or at least testing on a backup computer that you're not worried about.