RCMP warns of ransomware fraud
The OPP are warning people of a 'ransomware' fraud, which locks or freezes computers and then demands money to unlock it again. If this happens Canadians should report it and then get a computer technician to remove the malware. (FILE PHOTO)
The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Technological Crime Branch are reminding Canadians to be vigilant of a new 'ransomware' fraud which freezes or locks computers and then asked users to pay money to fix the computer.
Those who have reported the fraud say the freezing or 'lock out' happens after receiving pop-up messages warning them their computers have been associated with child pornography and illegal music downloading.
These warning messages, which claim to come from the RCMP or other Canadian government agencies, tell recipients to pay $100 dollars via Ukash so their computers can be "unlocked".
The RCMP notes these types of messages, known as ransomware, are designed to shock or panic the user into sending money quickly. Under no circumstances should you send the money as it will not fix your computer. The ransomware is attempting to defraud you.
Neither the RCMP nor any other Canadian government agency would hijack computers in order to obtain money. The ransomware presence is hard evidence that your computer has been infected by malicious software (malware) that must be dealt with.
To re-gain access to your computer you need to find a computer technician who can remove the malware. To protect your computer in the future it is recommended you update your software regularly, including anti-virus, spyware, and firewall protection.
If you receive a ransomware message, please contact your local police force and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) to report it: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/