Nelson Police has received a report of a computer scam that used malware to freeze your screen and then demands $100 ransom to unlock it.
Similar reports have been received in the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan.
The distinctive factor here is the malware purports to be from a law enforcement agency and Nelson Police is not exempt it seems.
The locking of computers has nothing to do with the Nelson Police Department or any other police agency and can be activated by visiting certain websites or clicking open unknown emails.
The scam is a form of extortion, and with the official looking reference to police and cyber-crime, it could be believable, but paying the $100 does not unlock your computer.
If you are a victim of this scam and you have not paid the fee, the scam can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please report to the Nelson Police if you have paid the on line fee as this becomes a fraud.
Nelson Police advise computer users to take basic steps to protect themselves.
These steps include having a proper firewall installed on your computer, having an up to date antivirus program loaded onto your computer, and not to open anything from an unknown, or untrusted, online source.