A computer virus is locking up computers in Richmond County and beyond and trying to scam people out of money.
The virus is called the FBI Green Dot MoneyPak Virus or the FBI ransomware scam and shows itself as a pop-up screen on the computer. The screen completely locks the computer down and tells the user that the computer has been locked for violating a federal law, usually related to child pornography.
The virus tries to scare computer users into paying a fine with a Green Dot MoneyPak debit card.
The Green Dot MoneyPak card is a prepaid debit card that can be reloaded with money as needed. The cards are sold at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS/pharmacy and many other locations.
The Walmart corporation has been notified of this scam and has released a statement with a screen shot of what the virus looks like.
The virus screen says, “This operating system is locked due to the violation of the federal law of the United States of America! (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8; Article 202; Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the U.S.A. provides for a deprivation of liberty for four to twelve years.) Following violations are detected: Your IP address was used to visit websites containing pornography, child pornography, zoophilia and child abuse. Your computer also contains video files with pornographic content, elements of violence and child pornography! Spam-messages with terrorist motives were also sent from your computer. This computer lock is aimed to stop your illegal activity. To unlock the computer you are obliged to pay a fine of $200. You have 72 hours to pay the fine, otherwise you will be arrested. You must pay the fine through MoneyPak: To pay the fine, you should enter the digits resulting code, which is located on the back of your MoneyPak, in the payment form and press OK (If you have several codes, enter them one after the other and press OK). If an error occurs, send the codes to address email@example.com,” the virus says.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.