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RCMP warning about an online scam that locks your computer

Last Updated Nov 6, 2017 at 7:29 am PDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Another online scam is making the rounds. This one initially appears to come from a legitimate source.

A dialogue box appears on your computer screen, which claims your computer has been locked due to a criminal investigation.

The RCMP’s Rob Vermeulen says the online culprits claim to be with the RCMP.

“The pop-up box tells the user that they have to send $100 via a payment service provider in order to get their computer unlocked. Even if they send the money, it doesn’t unlock their computer. We just want to get the message out that this is a scam,” he stresses.

“It’s called scamware or ransomware. You need a computer tech to have a look at your computer if it’s locked.”

To avoid getting sucked into a scam never click on a pop-up that says your computer has a virus, make sure you have up-to-date virus protection and scan your computer regularly for malware.

If you think you’ve been hit with ransomware, you don’t necessarily have to call police, but you can contact the Canadian anti-fraud centre.