HOMEWATCH – Fraudulent Internet hoax is costing users dearly

HOMEWATCH – Fraudulent Internet hoax is costing users dearly PDF Print E-mail

Dear Watch members,


I sent out the below email about six weeks ago. I would like to inform you that we are still having incidents of this nature occuring around out area.


Please be mindful when logging on your computer as I believe it is costing £60 at PC World to unblock the machines.


Jane Thirsk


There have been a number of internet scams reported to Cheshire Police which involve viruses or spyware.  One member of the public recently reported a virus which attacked their computer by blocking all access once they turned it on.  A page was displayed appearing to be from Cheshire Police because it showed the police authority logo and the address for police headquarters in Winsford.


They were then asked to pay an upfront payment of £100 to remove the block by either going to a shop and buying a Ukash voucher from which the code could be entered online or paying via money transfer through Western Union.  The fraudster claims they will unblock the computer screen after being paid.   


Realising that this was a hoax, the member of the public did not pay any money and because they had antivirus software installed, the computer had detected the infected files straightaway.  They commented that “The virus is clever because when it attacked my computer, it displays your IP address, login name and tries your location as close as it can.”


All members of the public need to become more aware of the online scams that are operating, as the internet is increasingly being used to pay for goods by credit card, accessing bank accounts, and downloading web content online.  Being’security savvy’ is the message that Cheshire Police are communicating. 


DS Peter Kidd from Cheshire Police stated that “The internet has wider implications for the public who are not protecting themselves whilst online.  This can be anything from disclosing your bank account details on websites using insecure web browsers, and downloading content to using the internet without a firewall in place or without antivirus software installed.  Antivirus software will stop most viruses from even entering your laptop because they raise the alarm to infected files which have been found.  Cybercrime can be minimised if the public know what preventative measures to take, prior to going online”