A Fool And His Money
Which three countries are at the top of the list when it comes to money scams? If you guessed the United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria, then you would be right on the money.
Out With The Old
The old saying, “a fool and his money are soon departed” is as true today as when it was first coined. That’s why most of us think we are pretty savvy when it comes to money scams.
Take the Nigerian confidence scam for example. Most people have enough common sense to know that a spam email from some Nigerian prince needing your financial help is a bit, if not a lot, fishy.
There’s a new scam circulating cyberspace and is harder to protect yourself against because it enters through your computer: Ransomware.
In With The New
New scams, however, are taking the form of very dangerous trojans. The FBI MoneyPak virus, for example, locks your computer and requests immediate payments of $100 to $200 using a GreenDot MoneyPak card. Once you make the payment, it’s supposed to unlock your computer’s task manager and registry editor.
If you see a screen pop up on your computer that indicates that this lock was imposed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), you know your machine is infected by the FBI MoneyPak virus. The real FBI is not related to this virus in anyway; it is simply a fraud committed by criminals.
How to Respond
Whatever you do, don’t enter any information on the screen and don’t comply with the ransom request because you would only be sending your hard-earned cash to cyber crooks.
Your best course of action is to remove the virus as quickly as possible because the longer it stays on your computer, the greater the possibility for more damage.
Whatever you do, don’t key in anything and act quickly as the virus has access to all your personal and private files, which cybercriminals can exploit. What starts out as a minor annoyance can quickly escalate to a major pain as the virus often morphs the longer it stays on your computer.
Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.
Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.