New scam threatens your computer and your wallet - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

New scam threatens your computer and your wallet


FBI officials are warning about a new scam. They say it's a virus that can cause major damage to your computer, and your wallet.

The FBI says this malware freezes up your computer screen and then asks you for money, to fix the problem. It happened to one Wausau family, who says the click of the mouse, is all it took for this virus to take over.

"I was on a website and all of a sudden this notification came up from the FBI stating that your computer is locked," said computer scam victim, Louie Zemke.

Louie Zemke was surfing the Internet. When all of a sudden, he says he saw a message frozen on his computer screen.

"I was just going through this basic website and all of a sudden this pops up out of nowhere," said Louie.

FBI officials say it's a scam, but they say it's unlike other viruses. This one can install itself when users click on a website that's been infected once the computer has the virus FBI officials say it locks up, and the monitor displays a screen saying the user has violated federal law.

"The screen just looked so realistic, it had the big eagle, the FBI logo, the big letters FBI it looked really realistic," said Computer scam victim Kelly Zemke.

The message goes on to say the user's internet address was identified by the FBI, and to unlock the computer, users have to pay a fine using a prepaid card service. The Zemke's fell for it.

"I had to go get a MoneyPak, put $200 cash on it, put the code in, process it and then your computer would be back on," said Louie.

And that's not what they need right now.

"We're very tight as it is, and we need everything that we bring in," said Kelly.

Luckily, it seems to be a happy ending for this couple, because they say MoneyPak has agreed to reimburse them the $200. But not everyone may be so fortunate. That's why the FBI urges everyone to ignore the screen if it comes up.

FBI officials advise you to not pay any money or provide any personal information if your computer is infected. They say to contact a computer professional to remove the virus from your computer.

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