Beware FBI, Justice Dept. ‘MoneyPak’ Virus: It’s a Scam
Beware of the FBI / Justice Department "MoneyPak" virus. It may look legally threatening, but it's actually a scam.
Two versions of a computer virus are now going around, each of which displays a fake notification pretending to be from the FBI or the U.S. Justice Department, reports Malware Tips.
The virus will lock you out of your computer while notifying you that this is due to "unauthorized cyberactivity" such as the use of your computer in the distribution of porn, spam, or copyrighted content. To appear official, the virus will also display a fake case number and a fake agent's name who is purportedly investigating the case.
The kicker to the virus is that to unlock your computer and avoid criminal prosecution, you will be asked to pay $200 in the form of a MoneyPak code. You're then directed to stores such as Walmart to purchase a MoneyPak.
Again, you should be aware that this notification is a virus and a scam. If your computer has been infected, here are some steps to remove the virus, as provided by Malware Tips:
- Restart Your Computer in "Safe" Mode. Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, and scan for malware. You may need to press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts to get into Safe Mode. If the virus does not allow you to start the computer in Safe Mode with Networking, you can try to restore Windows to a previous state using System Restore.
- Perform a System Scan. After your computer has started in Safe Mode with Networking, you’ll need to perform a system scan to identify the malicious files on your machine.
- Remove the Malicious Files. After you have performed a system scan, you will be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that have been detected. Click on all the infected files and click "remove."
For further details on the process to remove the "MoneyPak" virus, see the full instructions here.
- Green Dot MoneyPak Scam (Walmart.com)
- Computer Crime (FindLaw)
- 5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Tax Identity Theft (FindLaw’s Common Law)
- Online Scams (FindLaw)
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