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Langley RCMP issue ‘ransomware’ warning to local computer users

A computer scam meant to scare people into giving up their money has hit Langley.

Langley RCMP are warning computer users to be careful of a new scam where people receive a pop-up message warning that their computer has been associated with child pornography or illegal music downloading causing the computer to lock up.

These warning messages, which claim to come from the RCMP or other Canadian government agencies, tell recipients to pay $100 via Ukash (a payment service provider) so their computers can be “unlocked.” The payment does not deliver on its promise.

These types of messages, known as ransomware, are scams designed to create shock and anxiety so that victims respond by sending money quickly. If you receive one of these messages, please be aware that:

• Sending money will not fix your computer – it will remain locked.

• Neither the RCMP nor any other Canadian government agency would hijack computers in order to obtain money. The ransomware presence is hard evidence that your computer has been infected by malicious software (malware) that must be dealt with.

• The recommended way to regain access to your computer is to seek the help of a computer technician who can remove the malware.

• To protect against cyber attacks, you must regularly update your software. You should have up-to-date anti-virus, spyware and firewall protection.

• For additional information, visit the the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

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