Don’t be fooled by computer scam
Police are asking computer users in Nottinghamshire to be on their guard after a number of suspected internet frauds have been reported to the force.
Nottinghamshire Police have received a number of calls in relation to malicious software scams circulating the internet purporting to be from law enforcement agencies such as the Metropolitan Police, Cheshire Police and Strathclyde Police.
This malicious software locks computer screens and displays a message stating that the individual’s computer has been locked by Police, and that they need to call a given number or pay a fine for viewing inappropriate or illegal content online to unlock their computer. Please be aware that there are several variations of this scam and other similar scams currently in circulation.
Various police forces across the UK have informed the public that this is an internet scam and has nothing to do with them.
The Police would never ask the public for money under such circumstances and urge anyone who receives the pop-up to not to follow the payment instructions or call the number given. The public should not pay any money or divulge personal details.
Removal of the virus needs to be done with care. If you do not have specialised knowledge in this area, you are advised to seek professional advice in unlocking the computer and removing any associated virus.
Officers from the MET Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate this offence. As well as this malware scam there are other similar scams purporting to be from Microsoft and other computer organisations.
We would advise anyone who has been deceived by such a message and parted with any money to report the incident to Police by calling 101.
Virus/Malware infections where no money has been lost can be logged at www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud.
In order to reduce the chances of being infected by this or similar malware, we would advise computer users to ensure that anti-virus software is used and regularly updated to eliminate new threats as they are discovered. Also, ensure that operating software updates are also installed regularly.
Further advice can be found at http://www.getsafeonline.org/ or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/