Mounties warn against computer virus scam

Sidney North Saanich RCMP is warning members of the public about a computer scam where a virus takes over your computer by freezing or locking you out.

They said some computer users have reported receiving warning messages prior to their computer freeze-up. These messages appear legitimate as they claim to come from the RCMP or other official agencies. The messages advise the computer user that their cyber activity is being suspended due to illegal activity (such as child pornography or illegal music downloading).

This is, of course, not true. The messages are part of a scam and the hackers with whom it originated then demand that the computer user pay a monetary fine in order to unlock their computer. PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY, the RCMP statement said.

According to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, “the recommended way to re-gain access to your computer is to seek the help of a computer technician who can remove the malware.”

If you receive one of these messages, please contact your local police (in Revelstoke the detachment is at 250-837-5255) and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, toll-free, at 1-888-495-8501.