July 24, 2013

New cyber scam accuses user of child pornography, demands money

7-24-2013 Florida:

A Naples couple was targeted by a new cyber scam that accuses computer users of distributing child pornography and locks the device until the victims transfer cash.

Tech experts are calling the new scam the "drive-by virus" and say getting the virus is as easy as clicking a link online.

"It's frightening. You're thinking about the possibilities," said Bienvenido Roman, "somebody can go to jail."

Roman says he was on the computer with his wife over the weekend when an alarming message popped up on the screen.

"We couldn't unlock it and then it said something about child pornography," said Roman.

The couple took a screen shot of the message and sent it into Fox 4.

The message bares the official FBI seal and accuses the computer users of violating U.S. law by downloading illegal content. The message even accuses the user of distributing child pornography, an accusation that scared Roman.

"Oh my God, all I need is for people to start posting it all over the place," said Roman.

Roman is referring to the picture of his wife that the computer managed to capture using the laptop's webcam, under the virus's control.

"Her picture at the moment was on the corner [of the screen], that was most scary," said Roman.

According to the message, all Roman had to do to unlock his computer was go to a store that sold Moneypak gift cards, purchase one for $400 and then type in the code.

But Roman was skeptical. "It had to be a scam," he said.

Roman says he had never heard of the scam before, but it's more common than you might think.

"Probably three to four people come in a week with a computer that they can't access," said Dave Seitz, Greenwire IT.

Now more than ever the scam is easy to come by.

"They've compromised the advertisers or they've compromised the links that you're clicking to get to legitimate websites," said Seitz, "it finds you, it hunts you down."

Here's what the tech experts recommend you do if you are caught in the cross hairs of the so-called "drive-by virus."

Seitz warns users not to pay the $450 and don't log into any bank accounts or other important accounts.

Seitz also urges victims to get help from a computer expert rather than attempting to get rid of the virus themselves.

The necessary service to erase the virus from your computer runs from $60 to $85, according to Seitz. ..Source.. by Julian Glover

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