The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre has been receiving reports from Canadians who say their computers are being frozen or they have been “locked out” of their computers after receiving pop-up messages warning them their computer has been associated with child pornography. These warning messages, which claim to be from the RCMP or CSIS, tells the recipient to pay $100 dollars via Ukash so their computer can be “unlocked”.
Scareware, the moniker given to these messages, maliciously trick users into thinking their system has been infected with a virus. They then instruct you to download and pay for a specific program to remove the virus. In reality there is nothing wrong with your computer.
If you receive one of these messages, please be aware that it is a scam – these messages are not being issued by the RCMP. Last November, Ukash posted an alert on their website about a similar scam targeting residents in the United Kingdom. If you’ve been “locked out” of your computer, it’s a indicator that your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Never click on a pop up that claims your computer has a virus
- Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly
- Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know
- Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature
- Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent to you in an e-mail
- If your computer is running slow or doesn’t seem like it’s running ‘right’, seek a qualified computer technician.
If you’ve received a scareware message, please contact us at 975-8300 and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) to report it.
You can also report fraud online through the SPS website.