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 in circulation).
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 cyber-crime