'Child porn' scareware hits Canada

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has issued a warning about scammers who claim that a user's PC is associated with child porn, and demand money to fix the problem.

The scareware's been doing ther rounds for some months, in the UK and to a lesser extent the US as well as Canada. But, say the canadian authorities, there's been a big increase in the number of cases in the country.

Victims receive a pop-up message from a national authority such as the FBI or RCMP warning that their PC has a virus and is sending out child pornography. They're told to pay a fee of £100 or more via Ukash, Moneypak or Paysafecard to 'unlock' their machine.

As is usual with such scams, the poor quality of English will give the game away to many users.

"We have detected spam advertises illegal sites with child pornography from your computer," it reads. "This contradicts law and harm other network users and in this case we have to do next steps."

"If you receive one of these messages, please be aware that it is a scam – these messages are not being issued by the RCMP. Last November, Ukash posted an alert on their website about a similar scam targeting residents in the United Kingdom," says the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre.

"If you’ve been “locked out” of your computer, it’s a indicator that your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem."