Consumer Reports: Don't fall victim to 'ransomware' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: Don't fall victim to 'ransomware'

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(WMC-TV) - Under attack on the Internet: That is exactly what happened to one mother.

We will call the fraud victim Jeannine. She was on the Internet, planning her 2-year-old son's birthday party when suddenly her computer locked up.

"Instead of looking at Ernie and Elmo, I am faced with what reported to be the seal of the FBI and with that was a warning or a message. It said that I had committed several federal offenses, I was subject to fines and mandatory imprisonment," she said.

She knew there was something strange when she saw a payment option at the bottom of the site for $300.

"This is a home invasion, and they have broken into your home, and they have done it electronically," said U.S. postal inspector Dave Reardon.

Postal inspectors recommend when you set up a computer to always create two user accounts so if one is locked by con-artists, you have a second entryway. That is how Jeannine beat this scam; she out-routed the fake FBI pop-up. But she says she can see how someone else might fall for it.

"If you're scared enough and you don't understand it's a scam, you're going to lose," said Jeannine.

Consider updating your anti-virus software, too, to keep the fake FBI ransomware scam from popping up on you.

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