New virus pretends to be the FBI
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A new virus is going around that claims to be from the FBI. This one seizes control of your computer and even claims to be sending your picture to the government.
This virus is considered particularly nasty because once it is on your computer there is very little you can do to remove it on your own.
It has already hit computers in Houston and even the experts say they were shocked at the sophistication of the attack.
Debbie Lansford has seen plenty of computer viruses attack her PC.
"It slows it down and I get a lot of pop ups and some sort of Trojan virus, whatever that is," she said.
But a slow system is nothing compared to a new virus attacking computers right now. This one claims the Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken control of your machine for violating copyright laws. To get the PC unlocked you have to pay $200 electronically. And to make the scam even more effective the virus activates your web camera and makes it appear that video of you is being streamed directly to federal investigators.
Alex Diaz with Top Tech Experts said, "It is scary. The first time we saw it we jumped back and said, hey, what is going on?"
Diaz says viruses are not uncommon, but the new one tries new tricks to convince users that they have done something wrong and need to pay up immediately. The virus asks computers users to get a pre-paid debit card worth $200 and enter the card number so the fine can be paid and your computer unlocked.
"With anything that you see with FBI warnings, you want to be alarmed and read it properly, but do not send any money," Diaz said. "The FBI is not taking money from you, or wanting any money from you in that manner."
The real FBI confirms this is nothing but a scam. Unfortunately, infected machines are rendered virtually useless until a professional can clean up the computer.
"For us, we treat it as a standard virus removal," Diaz said. "It is a little bit different type of virus in the way that it comes up right away, but it is a virus."
This virus probably is spreading like all the rest, by spam email that contains a link that will infect your computer. The best advice is don't open emails from anyone you do not know and be extremely cautious when surfing the web.
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