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Schuette: Beware Computer Ransomware ScamsContact: Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
April 14, 2014
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today warned consumers of Ransomware scams that can encrypt or lock files on a computer.
"Every day cyber criminals are devising new ways to scam consumers," said Schuette. "I urge Michigan residents to be wary of emails from unrecognized sources and encourage consumers to use our helpful suggestions to protect themselves and their personal information from cyber scams."
Ransomware viruses lock files on personal computers and also files on shared networks, USB drives, and external hard drives. Once downloaded, the criminals behind these scams demand a "ransom" be paid or the computer's files will remain encrypted and be lost to the victim. Victims are told that if they pay, their files will be unlocked but some victims reported losing their files even after they paid the ransom. Two popular Ransomware programs include CryptoLocker and CryptoDefense. CryptoLocker typically infects victims' computers through fraudulent email attachments. CryptoDefense generally spreads through fake flash pop-ups prompting the user to view a video or via emails with zip file attachments.
Schuette offers the following tips for consumers to protect themselves against Ransomware:
To access the full Attorney General Consumer Alert, "Computer Ransomware - Holding Your Files Hostage," visit http://1.usa.gov/1kXNM3J.
For additional information on CryptoLocker Ransomware infections, please visit http://1.usa.gov/R6vlBp. You can file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at: http://1.usa.gov/1dmZ5hN. For information on filing a complaint with the Department of Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, please visit http://1.usa.gov/1iyrxic.
For general consumer questions or complaints, you may reach the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:
Toll free: 877-765-8388
www.michigan.gov/ag (online complaint form)
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