Earlier in August we provided details of a video distributed by the FBI on a scam which freezes your computer saying you’ve violated federal law and have been identified by the feds as being associated with child porn or other illegal activity.
It was never going to be long before similar types of scams began impersonating the Australian Federal Police, with an official media release from the AFP this week stating the following:
Release Date: Thursday, October 18 2012, 10:32 AM
An online scam designed to defraud Australians, has falsely used the Australian Federal Police (AFP) logo in an attempt to lure consumers into paying sums of money to unlock their personal computers.
The AFP has received reports from members of the public advising that while browsing the internet, a ‘pop up’ message has appeared on their computer screen purporting to be from the AFP. The message informs the computer user that their computer is ‘locked’ and requires the user to pay a fee to ‘unlock’ their system.
The AFP does not solicit funds and this message is not associated with the AFP in any way. The appearance of the ‘pop up’ message is due to a virus that is on the personal computer.
AFP Manager of Cybercrime Operations, Commander Glen McEwen says that the public need to be aware of online scams and put appropriate measures in place to avoid getting caught up in them.
“I urge all computer users to be wary of these types of online scams.”
“Users affected by this particular scam should not pay any money and should seek support from a repair centre if they need assistance to remove the virus,” Commander McEwen said
Members of the public are advised to be aware of this scam and to consider the general computer safety tips below:
- maintain current anti-virus software that is obtained from a reputable source and is regularly updated
- ensure their operating system is updated to ensure any security vulnerabilities are mitigated
- use strong passwords to protect their personal information
- limit the amount of personal information placed on the internet
- do not provide financial or other personal information to people that you do not know and trust
- never click on links contained within spam or unexpected emails.
Anyone who receives a similar request or believes they are a victim of this type of fraud should report it to SCAMwatch on 1300 795 995 or go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.
Further information supplied on trojan-killer.net on how to fix the virus suggests the following:
The owner of the hijacked PC usually sees the following message:
Australian Federal Police
Your PC is blocked due to at least one of the reasons specified below.
You have been violating “Copyright and Related Rights Law” (Video, Music, Software) and illegally using or distributing copyrighted content, thus infinging Article 128 of the Criminal Code of Australia.
Article 128 of the Criminal Code provides for a fine of 2 to 5 hundred minimal wages or a deprivation of liberty for 2 to 8 years.
So do not hurry up to pay a fine, because the legal organizations do not collect the payment in such manner. In case if a person has to pay a fine he/she receives an official statement from Australian Federal Police. The only proper algorithm of your actions now is to unblock your PC and remove the virus to avoid your private information loss other malware virus invasion.
Australian Federal Police Virus unlocking procedure
1. Restart your computer and press F8 while it is restarting.
2. Choose safe mode with networking.
3. Launch MSConfig.
Press Start –> Run
or press [Win]+R on keyboard
4. Disable startup items rundll32 turning on any application from Application Data.
5. Restart your system once again.
6. Scan with http://trojan-killer.net/download.php?trojankiller to identify file and delete it.
Some versions of these viruses disable all safe modes, but give a short gap that you can use to run anti-malware programs. Then do following:
1. Reboot normally.
2. Start –> Run.
3. Enter: http://trojan-killer.net/download.php?trojankiller If malware is loaded, just press alt+tab once and keep entering the string blindly then press Enter.
4. Press Alt+tab and then R (letter) couple of times. The process of Association of Chief Police Officers virus should be killed.
As private investigators based in Melbourne our online detectives are experienced in identifying a range of scams and fraudulent documents. For further assistance please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly investigators.