It seems many Acadiana law-abiding people have a finely-developed sense of guilt. They are usually always wondering if they could have done something wrong by accident, without even knowing it or whether their computer could have connected to illegal content, without telling it to.
The Internet Crime Reporting Center at www.IC3.gov (IC3) is warning consumers of a new scam attempting to take advantage of people.
Consumers are lured to a drive-by download website by advertising or some flashing popup; such as a screen saver or even that funny picture that a stranger sent you, which installs ransomware on your computer. According to PC magazine: Ransomware is a virus software that "kidnaps" a user's computer by encrypting its hard drive and then demanding payment to decrypt it.
Next, your machine freezes and a screen is displayed, “warning” that you’ve violated United States Federal Law. It goes on to claim that your IP address was identified by the FBI as having visited child pornography websites and other off-limits pages.
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers: Don’t believe it! And don’t fall for the line that to unlock the computer, you must pay a fine to the “US Department of Justice,” using prepaid money card services.
Remember, almost all scams try to panic you into immediate action—before you can think about it or talk it over. Don’t fall for it. Don’t click anything. To see a screenshot of the fake warning screen please visit www.IC3.gov.
Tips from IC3:
· If you have received this or something similar DO NOT follow payment instructions.
· Be aware that infected computers may not operate normally.
· If the malware isn’t removed, your computer could be used to commit online banking and credit card fraud against you and other people.
· If you suspect that your computer is infected, you should contact a local IT expert for assistance in removing the malware.
· Start your search for trustworthy companies at www.bbb.org.
· In addition, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.