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13 February 2012, 17:09

Malware masquerades as police message to extort money

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Zoom Screenshot of the malware's message
Source: Metropolitan Police

The Metropolitan Police's Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) has issued a warning that malicious software is purporting to be from law enforcement agencies in an attempt to extort money. The malware claims that a user's computer has been locked as a result of illegal activity having been detected, and that the user needs to pay a fine in order to have the system unlocked.

The Met's warning explains that a user's machine can become infected after a visit to one of several infected web sites – these sites are not specified, and it also points out that there several variants of the scam in circulation. The warning makes it clear that the police would never contact users in this manner and would certainly never ask for money.

Users that have fallen for the scam and parted with money are asked to contact their local police by dialing "101" in the UK. Those infected but that have not parted with money are asked to report the infection.

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