Aggressive ransom email scam appears in Kelowna
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February 10, 2017 - 2:30 PM
KELOWNA - An email scam that infects computers and demands payment before the user can regain access has appeared in the region.
A local victim reported they were a target of the email scam known as Cerber Ransomware," Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says in a media release.
The victim opened an email and at once it started to infect file data on their computer system. A pop-up window appeared that demanded a ransom before the user could regain access to the computer. At that point, the computer was already infected by software that appeared to prevent the victim's access by encryption.
O’Donaghey says victim tried to pay the scammer $1,000 in bitcoins, but was not successful. The victim then got help from technical experts who tried to recover the encrypted files. In the end, the victim did not lose any private information or money from this scam.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reminds computer users to never click on pop-ups and that if you can't click anywhere outside the pop-up window, the computer is infected, to not open emails or attachments from unknown sources, especially .zip files, to make regular backups of important files, and to keep anti-virus software up to date and perform regular scans on your computer.
“If you are demanded to pay ransom to unlock your computer, don’t do it, it’s a scam,” O’Donaghey says. “There is no guarantee that once the ransom is paid that the private key (password) needed to decrypt your files will be provided by the scammer.”
Report any cases involving Cerber Ransomware to the local RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
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