Internet scam in S Yorkshire/UK

May 2012

Police warn of internet scam that’s hit South Yorkshire

A number of people in South Yorkshire have recently fallen victim to Ransomware attacks on their computers. Ransomware is a form of malware (software that is intended to damage or disable computers) that attacks your computer, locking you out and demanding payment of a fine to have it unlocked.

The scam urges people to pay a fee using a UKash voucher or a paysafecard to have their computer unlocked. These firms are legitimate and are not involved in this ransomware scam.

The attack uses strong language suggesting that South Yorkshire Police are holding the computer to ransom as the computer is linked to websites containing pornography and child abuse, adult material or terrorist motives. This is not true.

This is a scam. Do not transfer any money or purchase vouchers. South Yorkshire Police would never contact members of the public and demand funds in this way. South Yorkshire is the latest area to be hit by this scam, other police forces have also had their logos abused in this way.

If you have been a victim of a ransomware attack the advice is:

• Restart your PC; this has been known to delete the message.

• South Yorkshire Police strongly recommend that anti-virus software is both used and (importantly) routinely updated to keep pace with new threats as they are discovered. In addition, operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS routinely issue updates that patch potential vulnerabilities.

• Alternatively, please contact your service provider. • To report the ransomware attack and for advice on fraud prevention go to Action Fraud, http://www.actionfraud.police.uk, or call             0300 123 2040      .

• To protect against fraud in the future, never reveal Ukash vouchers or voucher codes, or Paysafecard PINs (in full or in part) by e-mail or over the telephone, and it is advised that vouchers or PINs are only used at participating Ukash or Paysafecard merchants.