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

SCAM ALERT: Ransomware

Posted: Updated:

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:01:41 GMT
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
  • First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:44:21 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Police: Bullying video allegedly from Spokane is actually from New York

    Spokane Police: Bullying video allegedly from Spokane is actually from New York

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:47:01 GMT
    KHQ.COM - A video bullying video surfaced on a Spokane news organization's Facebook page on September 13th. The video shows a girl getting attacked by bullies and she looks to be in middle school or high school. The person who uploaded the video to the page had the profile name, "Stephen Burbank.">>
    KHQ.COM - A video bullying video surfaced on a Spokane news organization's Facebook page on September 13th. The video shows a girl getting attacked by bullies and she looks to be in middle school or high school. The person who uploaded the video to the page had the profile name, "Stephen Burbank."
    >>
  • $1.5M grant to help communities hurt by Oso slide

    $1.5M grant to help communities hurt by Oso slide

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-09-16 18:03:56 GMT
    DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) - A $1.5 million grant is on the way to help communities recover from the devastating Oso landslide in March. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing the money, and Snohomish County is putting together a plan for spending it.>>
    DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) - A $1.5 million grant is on the way to help communities recover from the devastating Oso landslide in March. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing the money, and Snohomish County is putting together a plan for spending it.
    >>
  • Action Cam: Spokane Civic Theatre's 'Fiddler on the Roof' Debuts Friday!

    Action Cam: Spokane Civic Theatre's 'Fiddler on the Roof' Debuts Friday!

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:19 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:19:11 GMT
    Civic Theatre's "Fiddler on the Roof"Civic Theatre's "Fiddler on the Roof"
    SPOKANE, Wash - This timeless musical magically weaves the story of a people steeped in tradition who must come to terms with a changing world. Fiddler has captured the hearts of people all around the world for fifty years with its moving score including “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, and “Sunrise, Sunset”. Winner of nine Tony Awards.The opening show, on Friday, September 19 will be held in conjunction with the Civic Theatre's 68th Annual Gala!>>
    SPOKANE, Wash - This timeless musical magically weaves the story of a people steeped in tradition who must come to terms with a changing world. Fiddler has captured the hearts of people all around the world for fifty years with its moving score including “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, and “Sunrise, Sunset”. Winner of nine Tony Awards.The opening show, on Friday, September 19 will be held in conjunction with the Civic Theatre's 68th Annual Gala!>>