Over the past couple of weeks, Nerds On Site has had several clients contact us for help in regards to one of the latest virus scams making the rounds – the Canadian Police Enforcement Virus. Here\’s some information about what it is and what you need to know about how to avoid becoming a victim of this scam.
Users can become victims by clicking malicious (but convincing!) links in their emails and through file sharing and other non-legitimate websites and links.
\”The malware, often activated through malicious links and phishing schemes,\” says an article on infosecurity-magazine.com, \”freezes the computer and activates a pop-up message using police logos, in this case claiming to be from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or other law enforcement agencies, with messages warning users their computers have been associated with child pornography or illegal music downloading, Then, the message demands a fine be paid immediately.\”
The Canadian police are quick to point out that they would NEVER ask to be paid in such a way.
“They would never ask for fines to be paid in that way. That’s not how police organizations work,” Acting Sgt. Kathy Macdonald with the Calgary Police Service’s crime prevention unit told the Calgary Herald
No Canadian government would ever hijack computers in order to obtain money. This virus is hard evidence that your computer has been infected by malicious software (malware), and that it must be dealt with by a computer technician, such as a Nerd. You can reach us via our website, or by calling 1-877-696-3737.
Since this is a scam, there is no guarantee that the scammers will release your computer after you pay them. They could just take it and do nothing. Authorities are strongly recommending that victims take a couple of steps if their computers become infected.
\”“One person paid $100 and it didn’t clean itself (off the computer),” Guelph Police Sgt. Doug Pflug said Wednesday in a Guelph Mercury article. \”In other words, it’s a trick to gain money for the cyber criminals.\”
The Infosecurity Magazine article goes on to insist people do NOT send money and \”remedy the issue by contacting a computer technician to repair the virus or malware. Also, CAFC is urging victims to report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre so that it can keep an accurate overview of how widespread the issue has become.\”
The scammers are using other similar supposed government department names, none of which are legitimate, including the Cybercrime Investigation Department of Calgary, among others.
Users across Canada are being targeted by the malware, including Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. Reports have also come from Europe and Australia, among other countries.
If you or someone you know has become a victim of this or any other scam or fraud attempt, report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or 1-888-495-8501.