Scam of the day – December 3, 2012 – New ransomware developments

The FBI has issued a new warning about a scam that uses the name of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (which is a legitimate law enforcement agcency) to extort money from unwary computer users.  I warned you about this scam in Scams of the Day for both July 9, 2012 and August 8, 2012.  In its present incarnation, malware is downloaded on to your computer through the usual means such as when the victim unwittingly clicks on a tainted link in an email or goes to a phishing website that appears to be a legitimate website and downloads the malware on to the victim’s computer.  The malware then causes the victim’s computer to freeze at which point a message comes up telling the victim that the Internet Crime Complaint Center has determined that the victim has downloaded illegal child pornography.  The victim then is told that he or she can avoid further prosecution by paying a fine by way of a prepaid money card.

TIPS

Don’t pay the ransom.  The Internet Crime Complaint Center would never extort money from you in this fashion and even if you do pay the exorted funds to the scammer, the malware remains on your computer and most likely you will be contacted again with another extortion claim.  You should file a complaint with the real Internet crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.  You also should have your computer examined for malware and viruses.  Once it is located and removed, you should make sure that your security software is up to date so that you  are protected from these types of attacks in the future.  Finally, you should be more careful in the future to avoid downloading malware and viruses.  Throughout scamicide.com you will find tips for how to do this.