SCAM ALERT: Ransomware - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

SCAM ALERT: Ransomware

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Here is a scenario none of us enjoy dealing with: A virus gets into your computer and gives you this scary message, "Send us money or you'll lose everything on your computer."

It happened here at KHQ to one of our managers and it can be tricky to get rid of.

There have been dozens of reports filed about this issue, and unfortunately there's not much that can be done at home to prevent scams like this from happening except to make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.

The ransomware problem isn't your fault and you're not going to bad sites. It's simply that people who are working to spread these viruses are making changes daily. If it hits your computer it damages the files you work with.

The ransomware states it's coming from the Department of Justice, which is not true. If this comes on your computer there's no way to ensure it's completely cleaned off your system unless you reformat the whole thing, changing it back to exactly how it was when you first bought it. In other words, all the customization you made to your computer since purchasing it will be gone.

Here are some tips from Chelsea Dannen with the Better Business Bureau that can help you if you find yourself in this type of situation:

1. Keep your anti-virus software up to date.

2. Don't pay money at all if it tells you it will help to unlock your computer.

3. Don't click on suspicious links or attachments.

4. Avoid questionable websites.

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