Internet Scam posing as FBI - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Internet scam posing as FBI

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Birmingham FBI Building. (abc3340.com) Birmingham FBI Building. (abc3340.com)

Pay up or else. That's the threat of a new program created by scammers posing as the FBI to extort money from its victims. The FBI has received numerous calls this week about the scam.

"We have fixed about 5 to 7 computers this week." said Vic Kamat with Lyons Computers.

Kamat said the computers become locked because of malicious software and added that the scammers are getting bold.

"It's kind of unique because they were going after well known, established federal government agency than somebody else, so it was surprising. And a lot of people think it's real." he said.

Paul Daymond with the FBI said his agency is receiving numerous calls about an Internet scam using its identity.

"We did a report on this in the Summer and it's continued to grow." Daymond said. "It completely freezes their computer. A sign will come up on-line that says the FBI has identified you as someone who has visited the child porn site or some illegal site."

Following that message, it demands you pay $200 or you could face criminal charges. 

"The FBI is not going to ask for money for starters, we have a budget." Daymond said.

Daymond said your computer can get the Reveton virus from an infected link. It takes Kamat several hours to fix the problem and to prevent it from re-appearing. 

"We take the disc out of the computer and we go to what we call a hospital or diagnostic machine." Kamat said.

But even after a computer has been cleaned and with software protection installed, he said the virus can still affect one's computer, another reason for people to stay alert.

If your computer becomes infected, Daymond said people should inform the FBI and file a complaint at www.ic3.gov after regaining Internet access. The FBI has a specialized team that oversees cyber crime.

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