Scammers impersonate Police e-Crime Unit

(Action Fraud) The Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) is warning the public of a computer scam which attempts to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public by impersonating the e-crime Unit.

Police have received 1,100 reports from the public of the malware affecting their computers. It is known that to date, 36 people in the UK have actually paid money, each losing £100.

Enquiries continue to trace those responsible for the scam. There have been no arrests at present.

The malicious software infects personal computers after users have accessed inapproprite websites. The virus causes the PC to freeze and lock, with a message purporting to be from the e-crime Unit advising the user they are required to pay a fine to unlock the computer.

This is a fraud and users are advised NOT to pay out any monies or hand out any bank details. This scam is now affecting many countries in Europe and further afield, with each email tailored to include the branding of that country's law enforcement agency. Europol are coordinating with Europe's law enforcement agencies on this matter.

Genuine law enforcement agencies would never contact members of the public via this method and demand funds in this way.

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