Police are warning the public to be vigilant following a number of recent reports of a possible computer scam.
It is understood that members of the public are being targeted by a virus which temporarily locks the user’s screen. A pop up then appears claiming the computer has been used for illegal activity.
This virus purports to be from law enforcement and can have a PCeU (Police Central e-crime Unit) or other UK police service logo attached.
The pop-up demands a fine to get the computer unlocked.
A police spokesperson said: “This is a fraud and users are advised not to pay out any monies or hand out any bank details.
“Payment of any monies will not release this pop-up as it is malware.
“The PSNI, nor any other Police Service in the UK, will never contact members of the public via email in this manner and demand funds in this way.”
Police would advise anyone who has been deceived by such a message to report the offence to their local police on 0845 600 8000.
Virus infections where no money has been lost can be logged at www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud. If you have any concerns or require any further advice or information please feel free to contact your local Crime Prevention Officer.
In order to reduce the chances of being infected by this or similar viruses, police would recommend that anti-virus software is used and routinely updated to keep up to date with new threats as they are discovered. Sound advice can be found at www.getsafeonline.org