I don't know whether this could be due to malware or is just a marketing ploy for revenue. But it's normally improper to display an advertisement on a user's screen (this happened on a PC in an XP environment and on a laptop in a Windows 7 evnironment) when the user did not navigate to it. But companies are probably finding it harder to earn revenue.
The browser was Chrome. I don't know if setting "do not track" could suppress the display.
And it's pretty obvious that it's dangerous to enter into financial contracts online introduced in such a cavalier manner.
Oddly, I got one cell phone call where the caller thought I was responding to a Craigslist ad. No. I haven't. Hope something isn't going on.
Update: May 30
Late in the day, one day after this posting, I got a call from an 866 number in northern VA (identified by Xfinity on my TV) on my (Comcast digital) home phone/ The voice was broken, and the caller said he was from AOL. He said I needed to change my account. This sounded suspicious. He gave me a number to call back as "1-855-763-3147", which does not match any of the contact numbers on AOL's site (1-800-827-6364). I tried the 855 number and it said it was AOL, but I am going to check later with the number of the site to see if this is legit. Does anyone else know what is going on?
Later, when in a Windows 8 environment but signed on to AOL, I was visitng Major League Baseball (MLB), and when going to a Wrap for a game, I got an ad from AOL. The problem went away when I signed out of AOL (on Google Chrome). Weird!