How the scam works:
(with video below) Many people in Canada have erroneously opened a website or clicked a link only to have their screens flooded with less than savory materials. In the RCMP popup fine scam, computer users who have had this experience are receiving a popup – supposedly from the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) – advising them they owe a $100 fine for using online pornography.
The message is: ‘RCMP Internet investigation, you’ve been caught dealing with pornography’ and the user is informed that his/her computer is locked. While this seems a legitimate communication from the RCMP, it is yet another ingenious scam by criminals seeking to separate you from your hard-earned money. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see in action the RCMP Fine scam exposed by a victim, or read on.
The popup goes on to advise the victim that they have only twelve hours to pay this fine, as it is a “first offense”. It tells the victim that they can go to a local retail store or convenience store and purchase a particular type of prepaid credit card, and then they are to enter the cards number into a field on the popup to “pay the fine”.
They are told that failure to pay will result in their hard drive being completely erased. Once they have entered the credit card information in the payment window, another popup appears advising the victim to make a second $100 payment. At this point, many victims realize they have been taken in by scammers. Meanwhile, the computer is compromised with a virus.
This scam is similar to the one featuring FBI in the United States. It is called Ransomware or the Ukash scam (as the scammers ask you to pay via Ukash or any other untraceable means – eg. MoneyPak, Green Dot, Vanilla Reload, PaySafeCard, Bitcoin, etc). If you already paid or installed a software that the fake RCMP page required you to, read below under 'How to Avoid' section to find out how to remove the virus.
How to avoid:
Never, ever pay the money that is being requested. It is far better to unplug your PC and call a reputable technician who can scrub your computer to rid it of the virus than it is to give more money to these criminals, many of whom it is believed to be part of organized crime. Also, be careful of following many online instructions regarding how to repair your computer of this malware, as many of the so-called “directions” are simply more malware perpetrated by the same group of criminals.
If you already installed the software required by the scammers, watch the video below to see how you can remove the Ukash virus from your computer.
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