PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- We have a call for action alert from a Port Charlotte man who thought he was buying safe, anti-virus software, but he really downloaded a virus.
Guy Carpenter says he is locked out of his computer and he doesn't want it to happen to anyone else.
He says about a month ago, a box with 'XP Defender' popped up on his computer telling him it was infected and he needed to purchase the software to fix it. He paid $80 for a subscription, but it did everything except protect his security.
He says, "we thought it was legitimate and we simply purchased it because we could not get onto the computer and then 20 days go by and as of yesterday we couldn't get on again."
We did a quick internet search and found many sites showing 'XP Defender' as a virus that poses as anti-virus software.
To avoid this yourself, the anti-spyware coalition recommends you only download programs from websites you trust, don't be tricked into clicking something in order to close a window, keep your computer security up to date, and always read the fine print.
Carpenter says he computer is pretty much dead to him, until he can find a way to wipe out the virus completely. He says, "If I can be hit like this, anybody can be hit like this. Just watch what you are doing on the computer. If you don't know, even an inkling of it, just don't do it."
He says his bank plans to reimburse him the $80 he spent on the program. He says he tried to call the company that the bank says cashed his check, but he hasn't gotten anywhere.
We tried that number ourselves, and it goes to a recording that asks you to send an email or leave a message with your email address. Carpenter says he didn't want to give any more of his information to the company.