Did the FBI or Internet Crime Center (IC3) block your computer? Don’t fall for Reveton ransomware, even if “The FBI” “speaks” to you…
Uh oh. Your computer screen’s frozen, and the news doesn’t look at all good—the FBI has busted you for violating copyright law or, uh, watching porn. Oh, and you have to pay a fine before the FBI will let you get back to surfing the net. They’ve even got a picture of you, right there on the screen.
Is this for real?
Nope. And a big tip-off for alert would-be victims should be that you’re being told to cough up the funds with a pre-paid money card like MoneyPak. Just as the real IRS doesn’t expect you to pay taxes via Western Union to an address in some remote island before they send you that ‘government grant,’ the FBI doesn’t take Green Dot cards…or anything else.
The Internet Crime Center (IC3) reports that this ransomware works by luring you to a “drive-by download website.” Not only will you suffer from a frozen computer and an extortion attempt, but, says the FBI, the malware will continue to operate and could be used to commit banking and credit card fraud.
Some versions of the virus may even activate your webcam to snap that picture of you. Newer versions will also ‘speak’ to you, in your own language.
PeopleClaim can help with complaints about movers, banks, and phone carriers, but we probably can’t help you get your money back from malware.
So what should you do?
Obviously you shouldn’t pay the fine. And according to the FBI, even if you can unfreeze your computer, the virus may still be operating in the background. So shut down your computer and take it to an expert. If you’re computer savvy you might try removal techniques from a trusted site, but be cautious—scammers can also set up ‘removal’ guides.