Scammers keep developing new tricks to try to snag money from users, and the newer types of tricks involve the use of ransomware. The scammers infect vulnerable machines through the use of a computer virus, which locks the computer (and files) and demands a payment for its release. These forms of viruses also try to coerce the user into paying a false fine by mimicking local police or security services.
Tips to Help Stop Ransomware Scammers
Identify the Scam
No legitimate law enforcement agency will inform users of illicit activities through a pop-up window and demand a payment over the Internet.
Regularly Back Up Your Computer
This will give you the ability to restore your computer without losing all your valuable information.
Use Anti-Virus Tools
Installing anti-virus tools can help prevent ransomware attacks.
Do Not Pay the Ransom
There’s no guarantee the cyber-criminals will actually unlock your computer, so don’t make any payments. Instead, file a complaint with the proper authorities.
To file a complaint, please visit:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation: Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
For more information:
- U.S.-CERT Security Tip: “Safeguarding Your Data“
- MS-ISAC Cybersecurity Webcasts: National Webcast Initiative
- FBI News: “Ransomware on the Rise“
Cyber Tip of the Day from the Multi-State Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC)