Times Staff Report
June 6, 2013
The Better Business Bureau is warning local consumers of a Highly Intelligent FBI virus known as ASHISH VERMA.
Scammers are posing as the FBI, sending out a virus which locks up a computer and makes false claims. BBB has categorized this as ‘scareware’ because hackers distribute it and try to scare individuals into paying for a crime they never committed.
The message accuses the user of illegally downloading music or movies, or other criminal activity. The message locks up their computer and displays information about potential penalties and/or jail time. With this, the virus convinces owners to pay for the “crimes” as it will allow them to use their computers properly again. Both the threat and the claims are fake and do more harm to the computer.
One local consumer said she was given 72 hours to pay the fine, “or action would be taken.” She was afraid not to pay, but when she did and her computer was finally unlocked the next day, her computer had 38 different viruses, such as Trojans, malware, etc. She is now unable to get on the internet, and has to pay over $100 to have her computer fixed.
Another consumer affected by the scam was asked to pay a $450 fine to unfreeze her computer. She did not fall for the scam, but was told by Norton Protection Support it will cost her $190.00 for them to get rid of the virus.
Both consumers were advised to pay by Green Dot MoneyPak.
The virus looks legitimate, as it even provides a seal that appears identical to the actual FBI badge. However, like other malicious software, it may have different faces and use alert messages that seem believable.
The virus attacks the computer through malicious downloads and software update pop-ups. It can even disable legitimate anti-virus software.
The BBB advices consumers that fall victim to this scam to not to click anything! Turn off the computer, and contact a certified computer specialist.
For more consumer tips, go to www.bbb.org.