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12 Mar 2013
Cheshire Police have issued a warning
to computer users following reports of Malware (malicious
software) scams circulating the internet purporting to be
from law enforcement agencies.
This specific type of malware
locks screens and requests members of the public
to pay a fine to get their computers unlocked. The
malware infects personal computers after users have accessed
certain websites. *(It should be noted that there are
several similar designs currently
Officers from the MET Police Central
e-Crime Unit (PCeU) are working with international law enforcement
agencies to investigate this offence. (There are similar scams
involving Microsoft and performing rights bodies). PCeU have
liaised with all other UK forces to make them aware of the malware
and steps to take. Action Fraud are also aware and have issued
advice to the public.
This is a fraud and
users are advised NOT to pay out any monies or
hand out any bank details.
Cheshire Police would
never contact members of the public via email and demand
funds in this way.
We would advise anyone who has been
deceived by such a message and parted with any money to
report the offence to their local police by
dialing 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, police strongly
recommend that anti-virus software is both used and (importantly)
routinely updated to keep pace with new threats as
they are discovered. In addition, operating systems such as Windows
and Mac OS routinely issue updates that patch potential
vulnerabilities. Advice can be found at www.getsafeonline.org.
How to report a