Prince Rupert RCMP are warning residents to be aware of an increase in cyber-scams in the community, with many coming from sites on the internet.
According to Cst. Matt Ericson, one of the more prominent scams reported is that people have been “locked out” of their computer and receive a pop-up message saying the computer has been frozen by police as part of a criminal investigation. The pop-up may or may not include a list of offences , ranging from music downloading to child pornography, and tells the recipient to send $100 via a payment service to RCMP or other federal agencies to have their computers unlocked.
Regardless of what the pop-up looks like, RCMP say they do not come from any such group and affected people should not send money. The scams are known as ransomware or scareware, designed to shock the person into quickly sending money. Anyone who receives something like this is asked to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 to report it, or contact the RCMP detachment if you have been a victim of fraud.
To prevent becoming infected, RCMP advise people to never click on a pop-up claiming your computer is infected or download anti-virus software from a pop-up ad, update your anti-virus software regularly and don’t click on links in e-mails from people you don’t know.
For more information, visit www.antifraudcentre.ca