This news item expired on Monday, December 31, 2012 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
Example of monitor display when computer is infected with Reveton ransomware.
Computer users are familiar with pop-up messages, which are usually just a nuisance. But some pop-ups can be dangerous. One pop-up is freezing computers with a message that appears to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The pop-up states that you’ve been caught illegally downloading copyrighted music or movies, or viewing child pornography. You’re told to pay a fine, usually $100 to $300 dollars, to unlock your computer and avoid prosecution. The pop-up instructs you to use Green Dot MoneyPak or another prepaid money card service to pay the fine.
In reality, you’ve clicked on a website that is infected with a virus called Reveton. The bad news is that you may not be able to get rid of Reveton completely without professional help, even if you’re able to get your computer unlocked. The good news is that the message is just a scam and you are not in trouble with the law.
If you spot a scam (online or off), report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.