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Two days ago my niece asked me to look at her 9 year old daughters laptop as it had locked up and was asking for money to be unlocked. She said it happened while she was watching a YouTube video of Britains Got Talent.

 

What she had was a particularly nasty virus known as 'Ransomware'. It locks the computer and demands money to 'unblock' the computer so it can be used again. Like most, this one came in the guise of an official site with lots of police badges and the name Metropolitan Police, it accused her of distributing child porn and wanted £100 to be paid by Paypoint.

 

Luckily at her age, she isn't aware of what kiddie porn is but the police references and the menacing voice demanding over and over that she must pay £100 fine did scare her.

 

I class this as Fraud and Blackmail, but the authorities aren't interested. There are at present a couple of men in the North in prison for doing this sort of thing. On contact with the Police, they weren't interested and said 'we don't have anything to do with that any longer and to ring Action Fraud.

 

I rang Action Fraud, who is the government sponsored department that deals with cyber crime and was given a crime number and then bye bye.

 

No attempt was made to ID the culprit nor any questions asked or requests made to send them details.

 

That brings me to make the statement that this, (like most other Government departments), is useless and not worth the money they are costing us.

Edited by Conniff
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Perhaps go to the press with this, coniff.

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Happened to my son a few weeks ago, he was panicking saying he had never been on any of the sites mentioned.

 
 

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It is very worrying that it is younger children who appear be the victims of this.

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I don't think it is targeted at anyone in particular, it's just unlucky that you just visit the site or download the infected file in some other junk software.

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  • 2 years later...

I nearly fell victim to the HMRC "you have a tax refund" text [problem] that's going round yesterday.

 

 

I clicked on the link and filled in some of my details, but not my bank details.

 

 

I phoned up the HMRC to ask to be directed to the page on my laptop (as a security measure) and that's when I discovered it was a phishing [problem].

 

 

It fooled me because the text came through on the same conversation thread as previous texts from them.

 

I was directed to Action Fraud Police and have just sat on the other end of a line for half an hour twice only to get cut off at the end both times.

 

 

I was looking to report this and get some advice on it, ie. how did they manage to make the text look genuine etc..

 

But I feel you are entirely correct with your analisys that they appear to be a waste of space and of absolutely no help.

 

 

Maybe they are just overburdened with calls, but I much prefer sitting on the other end of a line for half an hour if there is eventually going to be someone answering my call on the other end!

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It seems to have now come to pass that the police can pick and choose which crimes they will investigate or not. At one time when you received a crime reference number it apparently meant they would investigate - not any longer. Perhaps a strongly worded complaint sent to both the Chief Constable and Police Commissioner in your areas copied to your MP, local councilor and local rag might get things moving.

 

Malwarebytes (available free) is pretty good at removing ransomeware from most machines. If you are having problems open in safe mode and run the programme from a detachable drive.

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Conniff did you have to pay to get the laptop unblocked ?

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It seems to have now come to pass that the police can pick and choose which crimes they will investigate or not. At one time when you received a crime reference number it apparently meant they would investigate - not any longer. Perhaps a strongly worded complaint sent to both the Chief Constable and Police Commissioner in your areas copied to your MP, local councilor and local rag might get things moving.

 

Malwarebytes (available free) is pretty good at removing ransomeware from most machines. If you are having problems open in safe mode and run the programme from a detachable drive.

 

I'm running the month trial of ESET on my Android phone now, it's a pretty solid package. I paid for the full version on my laptop and it's seems pretty good, although I have no way to know whether it's detecting virus and spyware. It comes highly recommended though.

 

The HMRC phishing department have been pretty responsive and I'm currently trying to determine whether the previous texts I recieved from them are genuine, with a view to maybe getting to the bottom of how this happened.

 

It just goes to show even the most savvy minded person like myself can still be fooled by these scams.

 

I don't think the police have the resources to deal with every complaint about cyber crime these days, there is so much of it. They are closing down scores of fake websites every day.

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What she had was a particularly nasty virus known as 'Ransomware'. It locks the computer and demands money to 'unblock' the computer so it can be used again. Like most, this one came in the guise of an official site with lots of police badges and the name Metropolitan Police, it accused her of distributing child porn and wanted £100 to be paid by Paypoint.

 

I picked up one of these infections when (I suspect) Adobe Acroread was updated. Fortunately, it turned out to be fairly painless to remove by way of interrupting the boot sequence as I recall, and then editing the registry file. None of my data had been encrypted which I believe some of the current ransomewares do.

 

If you can boot the laptop from CD or a USB stick, it may be possible to remove this infection if you can't interrupt the boot process.

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I don't mean to hijack this thread I just did a search. I still don't understand how they managed to disguise the text as an HMRC text and I've emailed them back to ask them to confirm prior texts over the last year.

 

It really pays to know how to spot these things, and if you are not an expert in these matters...

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I don't mean to hijack this thread I just did a search. I still don't understand how they managed to disguise the text as an HMRC text and I've emailed them back to ask them to confirm prior texts over the last year.

 

It really pays to know how to spot these things, and if you are not an expert in these matters...

 

Sadly many, many, many people get caught out in various sca ms (space as CAG changes this word). They are extremely clever & relentless!!

 

My mum was caught out as well, despite all my warnings to her not to click on any links what so ever, even if it purports to be from someone she knows. Which is exactly what she did & yep it was a sca m so then I'm spending an afternoon sorting it out for her.

 

It's best not to click on any links given via email/text. Always write the website address yourself in the search bar.

 

Do not give out any personal information at all.

 

Call the company/person as you did with the HMRC & verify the contact.

 

@ OP.

 

What a nasty vicious way to target people!!

 

As the Police/Action Fraud won't do anything, then try the newspapers as CB suggested.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Sadly many, many, many people get caught out in various sca ms (space as CAG changes this word). They are extremely clever & relentless!!

 

My mum was caught out as well, despite all my warnings to her not to click on any links what so ever, even if it purports to be from someone she knows. Which is exactly what she did & yep it was a sca m so then I'm spending an afternoon sorting it out for her.

 

It's best not to click on any links given via email/text. Always write the website address yourself in the search bar.

 

Do not give out any personal information at all.

 

Call the company/person as you did with the HMRC & verify the contact.

 

@ OP.

 

What a nasty vicious way to target people!!

 

As the Police/Action Fraud won't do anything, then try the newspapers as CB suggested.

 

I am not sure the media would be interested either. They probably get numerous calls and emails every day from people complaining about online issues such as this.

 

From what i understand Action Fraud and other agencies pass all of the details to a specialist department who deal with all internet related major problems. I think from memory they tracked down a few ransomware nasties to Russia, where they have met difficulty getting to whoever was responsible. This can be the problem in dealing with internet crimes that they could be perpetrated from anywhere.

 

One of the advantages of using an ipad is that when i have had a dodgy link come up with a Ransomware page is that it is easy to get rid off. Just disconnect from internet and clear browser in general settings. I think it can be more difficult using Windows.

We could do with some help from you.

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I picked up one of these infections when (I suspect) Adobe Acroread was updated. Fortunately, it turned out to be fairly painless to remove by way of interrupting the boot sequence as I recall, and then editing the registry file. None of my data had been encrypted which I believe some of the current ransomewares do.

 

If you can boot the laptop from CD or a USB stick, it may be possible to remove this infection if you can't interrupt the boot process.

 

No problem at all to get rid of, but for those who are just pc users, the story is a lot different. Fortunately I'm not one of those.

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