Ransomware: Computer Hostage Scam
Ransomware Scams: How You Can Become a Hostage Online
The ransomware scams are some of the scariest ones happening online. Imagine this: while you’re using your computer, tablet, or mobile, the screen freezes and a full-page notification reads: “Your personal files are encrypted. To obtain the private key for this computer, which will automatically decrypt files, you need to pay $300US/300 EURO, similar in another currency.”
You might think is a joke or just a simple annoying popup, but you cannot even close the page or give another command! Your computer is really frozen. You can’t do anything. The only active button is “Click Next to select the method of payment”. You even restart the device…still frozen! Thousands of victims have lost their hard-earned money in the last few weeks due to this attack. How does it work?
Watch the video below to see in action the scary Ransomware Computer Hostage scam exposed or read on.
Let’s show you how the scam works, how you can protect yourself, and take a look at some of the best antivirus software. The Ransomware: Computer Hostage Scam is technically called Trojan.Cryptowall, which is a Trojan horse that encrypts files on the compromised computer. It then asks the user to pay to have the files decrypted.
The threat typically arrives on the affected computer through spam emails, exploit kits hosted through malicious ads or compromised sites, or other malware. The craziest thing is that the crooks give you a link where you can actually see all your personal files, encrypted.
Cybercriminals ask from anywhere between $300 to $10,000 and they give you a countdown, otherwise, they destroy your files. The favorite method of payment for scammers is Bitcoin, which is not traceable. Just like the other reloadable cards such as MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, Ukash, or GreenDot, Bitcoin is pure cash online.
Ransomware Scams: How To Avoid
What would you do if you don’t want your personal documents, bank accounts, and passwords, or all your pictures stolen and destroyed? If it’s too late and you are already in this ransomware situation you can only try to wipe out our drive and reinstall the files and software that you might have. You will need to take your computer/tablet/Android phone to a specialist.
However, if you want to protect yourself NOW, make sure you have a good, if not the best antivirus firewall software. It is wise to use and invest in the best virus and spyware protection. Nowadays they’re not that crazy expensive anymore. If it’s not too late, purchase your internet security software from legitimate and renowned providers.
If your computer is already running slow or making excessive pop-ups, you may already be infected with spyware, which you can remove with powerful computer virus protection software. It’s worth the investment.
Suspicious Activity Online: How To Report a Scammer
Warn your family and friends about the Ransomware Scams by sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodic emails – we promise not to spam. Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other fraud-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you can protect yourself in many other aspects and niches. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
Here are some must-reads for the end:
File Sharing Scam