Warning over computer scams

I AM writing to bring to the attention of your readers a really nasty computer scam doing the rounds, according to the police it could amount to hundreds of attacks.

You are on a site, suddenly the screen clears and then a message purporting to come from the Metropolitan Police stating that you have been using your computer for illegal purposes, and it is now locked until you pay a fine of £100 to be paid by a Paypal or other voucher system.

This is a malware (criminal programme placed on your machine). It is not from the police, please report it to them. Do not pay the £100.

You will most probably need a computer engineer to unlock the machine - at the same time ask him/her to download a malware protection programme (which is free) and this should block such programme that are attached to a seemingly innocent email/website.

A further point is if you receive a telephone call, again stating it is from a reputable software or other company, stating you have a fault on your computer system and they need your passwords etc to remove the fault.

Do not give it to them. Put the phone down. The purpose of the call is to gain entry to your machine, possibly bank account details and password and then they remove any money from your account or use your details to set up dummy accounts in your name.

If you have any doubts at all about an email or website or an instruction given, close your system down immediately and do not comply with any instruction.

I write as someone, pretty computer savvy, whose machine is not with the engineers being unblocked and cleaned up.

Be aware.

Rita Cox

Udimore Road