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Monday June 3rd, 2013

Posted at 2:26pm

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The Windsor Detachment of the RCMP is warning the public of a computer scam after receiving multiple reports from individuals advising that their computers have been frozen.

The RCMP say reports from the public indicate that they have been “locked out” of their computers after receiving pop-up messages warning that the computer has been associated with pornography. These warning messages, claiming to be from the RCMP, tell the recipient to pay a $100 “fine” via Ukash so the computer can be “unlocked”. The scam apparently tells users that if the “fine” is not paid within 72 hours criminal proceedings will commence against the user.

The RCMP says these types of messages, commonly known as “scareware”, are designed to create such shock and anxiety that victims respond by sending money quickly.

If you receive one of these messages please be aware that it is a scam and has not been issued by the RCMP. Do not pay the $100 “fine”. Being “locked out” of your computer is an indication that your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address that problem.

The RCMP offers the following tips to help keep your computer protected:

  • Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus;
  • Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly;
  • Do not click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know;
  • Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature;
  • Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up link sent to you in an e-mail.

If you have received a “scareware” message please report it to your local police office and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501).

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