Viruses & Scams To Watch Out For!

These are viruses and scams that I come across when visiting my customers. If you think you may have been affected by any of the threats give me a call and I'll be pleased to have a chat with you about it.


  • Viruses require you to run a program to install themselves on your computer.
  • The main way viruses get into your computer is by you opening attachments because this can run a program.
  • Attachments are represented by a paper clip on the email.
  • Only open attachments that you are expecting.
  • If the email is from a friend or family always check with them that they have sent it because their computer may be infected ant the email could have been sent without their knowledge.

  • Always have a good up to date antivirus program. Click here for help with this.


The NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit has warned that online criminals have launched a major internet attack designed to hold victims’ computer data hostage, and demand a ransom of hundreds of pounds be paid.

The cybercops’ alert warns that the CyberLocker ransomware – which encrypts computer files and demands a ransom be paid for the decryption key – has been distributed via spammed-out emails claiming to come from banks and financial institutions.

How is CryptoLocker spread?

CryptoLocker is typically distributed via spam email messages, perhaps claiming to come from your bank or a delivery company. If you click on the attached file (which might pretend at first glance to be a PDF file, but actually use the .PDF.EXE double extension trick to hide its executable nature), your computer becomes infected.

Of course, it’s possible the criminals behind CryptoLocker could also distribute it in other ways. For instance, by compromising websites with malicious exploit kits that take advantage of software vulnerabilities to install CryptoLocker on visiting computers.

What files does CryptoLocker encrypt?

Once your computer is infected, CryptoLocker hunts for files to encrypt. It doesn’t just look on your hard drive, but on any connected drives, including mapped network shares, and even folders that you might sync up with the Cloud – such as DropBox.

Will I see anything on my screen to tell me I’ve been hit?
Only when it’s too late. 

Your personal files are encrypted!

Photos, videos, documents, etc.

After files have been encrypted, CryptoLocker displays a message that demands you electronically send the ransom payment (options may include Bitcoin, MoneyPak cashU, or UKash) in order to decrypt the files. You have 72 hours to pay or the key to unlock your data is deleted resulting in your data being lost forever!

Can’t anti-virus software remove CryptoLocker and save my data?

Good anti-virus software should be able to detect and remove CryptoLocker – however, removing CryptoLocker isn’t the same as decrypting your data files. And anti-virus software cannot unscramble your data.

How do you protect against Cryptolocker?

Firstly, backup the documents and photos that you do not want to lose. Make sure that whatever they are backed up onto is NOT left plugged into the computer otherwise it will see them!

Secondly, do not open attachments that you are not expecting, particularly if they are from banks, financial institutions like PayPal, FaceBook, delivery companies, Twitter.


Yahoo! Email Scam

Yahoo Mail users have been seeing their accounts broken into for months. While Yahoo says it has plugged at least two separate security holes leading to accounts getting hijacked, it appears the problem persists. Typically you will receive an email seemingly from Yahoo! saying that your email account has been accessed by someone in another country. There's a contact number to get hold of "Yahoo" but you get through to someone who doesn't speak English very well saying they will sort the problem out for you if you pay. 

Recommendation: Hang up. Change your password. Let  your contact list know that they may get strange emails from you for a while.


 The Card Collection Scam

This scam involves you being called by someone claiming to be from their bank. You are told that your debit or credit card needs collecting as it needs replacing following fraud on their account.

The caller often suggests that you hang up and call the bank back if you want to ensure the call is genuine, but stays on the line, tricking you into thinking you’re calling your bank. Once you feel safer because you think you've checked it out with the bank, the criminal will then ask you to key your PIN number, before sending a courier to collect the card. You are then told the card is going to the bank to be changed but it is actually delivered to the fraudster to use along with the PIN obtained during the scam.



The Microsoft Phone Scam

This may well have happened to you already or you will more than likely know someone it has happened to.

A scammer calls you and asks for you by name. They say they are a computer security expert from "The Windows Team"  (or another legitimate tech company). The 'security expert' is plausible and polite, but officious. They say that your PC or laptop has been infected with malware, and that they can help you solve the problem. What happens now depends on the particular strain of scam with which you have been targeted.

Some crooks will ask you to give them remote access to your PC or laptop, and then use the access to harness your personal data. Others get you to download malware that will do that task for you. A more straightforward scam is to simply ask for money in return for a lifetime of 'protection' from the malware they pretend is on your machine.

So what should you do if you’re called by one of these phone scammers? Hanging up would be best, but certainly DO NOT let them have remote access into your computer, and definitely DO NOT give them any money. If they have remotely accessed your computer,  change your passwords, do an antivirus scan and check for remote access software in the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ section of your Control Panel. 


 The Police Scam Virus                                                                                                       

If you are infected your computer will display a screen that says the you have been caught viewing illegal pictures and have been fined £100. It says that it is from the Police and shows a police badge. Your system will then be locked. This form of virus is also known as "Ransomware".

It is believed same group of hackers targeting various countries with localized version of those viruses. Ukash is payment system. Hacker uses this method for payment as Ukash requires you to pay them in Cash and in return user gets code. User enters this code in their locked computer and supposedly their computer gets unlocked. But most users do not realized their computer is still infected with virus and it is West Yorkshire Police Scam Virus is just hiding in the background and system files. Most user prefer to take care of this problem using software, but most software does not remove it completely and leaves some traces back which later could invite other malwares and Trojan. It is potentially dangerous to have such traces in the system as West Yorkshire Police Scam Virus can come back again and lock your computer completely. That is why it is extremely important to completely clean your PC.    Click here for latest.


The Fake Antivirus Program

an "anti virus program" that reports that  you have many viruses on your computer. You will have boxes popping up on your screen telling you that your computer is infected.  It offers to fix the problem but then you are taken to a website where you have to buy software to remove your "problems".

In fact the only problem you have is the fake program  telling you that  you have viruses. You do not have the viruses it is reporting! It is a con and can easily be removed with the right knowledge. I can remove this problem in less than one hour.




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Wednesday the 28th. John Watson Computer Services - 07930 105042