The OPP is warning people about an online fraud called ‘ransomware’. It’s where a pop up appears saying it’s from a law enforcement agency. There’s been two recent cases reported to police where the well known OPP logo appeared. The message is a false accusation of accessing child pornography or other file sharing websites and it tells people a fee needs to be paid via money transfer or credit card to unlock the computer. When victims submit their payment details, the criminals then steal and use computer information, fuelling other criminal activities.

Signs that you may have encountered ransomware:

 

A pop-up message or banner with a ransom request.

A user cannot usually access anything on the computer beyond the screen.

Sending money outside the traditional or mainstream banking system.

Sending money to “unlock” a computer.

Tips to protect yourself from ransomware:

Never click on a pop-up that claims your computer has a virus.

Update your anti-virus software often and scan your computer for viruses regularly.

Don’t click on links or attachments in e-mails sent to you by someone you don’t know.

Turn on your browser’s pop-up blocking feature.

Never download anti-virus software from a pop-up or link sent to you in an e-mail.