Computer virus scam targets elderly

Pop-up ad claims to be FBI alert

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An internet scam is targeting the elderly and tricking them into paying money to fix the problem. The scam uses the FBI's logo to lure in victims.

It's called "Ransomware" and the fake pop-up ad locks up computers then uses the FBI alert to trick people into paying as much as $300 to remove the problem.

"There is no way to get your money back," said Seniors Vs. Crime's Valerie Norton.

Norton is an advocate for seniors who often fall victim to these crimes. In the past few days, Norton said three seniors have been targeted in the Jacksonville area.

The FBI message accuses the user of accessing or downloading illegal content and then threatens penalties or jail time if people don't pay.

"People that are older are going to go, 'Oh my gosh, what did I do wrong' and they will likely pay the fine, because they probably think they've done something wrong," said Norton.

Experts recommend that if people encounter the message, simply turn the computer off and reboot it, then let the computer do an anti-virus scan. If that doesn't work, take it to a computer technician for more probing.

Experts say the only way to prevent this is to keep your anti-virus software and any anti-malware up-to-date.

Here are some helpful links to keep computers safe:

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