May 6, 2013 1:10 PM by Matthew Schwartz
TUCSON - Computer technician Tom Stutsman says it's a growing problem: An FBI logo pops up on your screen, saying you have 24 hours to pay a $250 fine, because you visited pornographic websites. And the message can be frightening.
It reads, in part, that "Your computer also contains video files of pornographic content, elements of violence, and child pornography."
If you don't send the scammer $250 via money pack, your computer is locked. That's exactly what happened to Willie Caldwell's laptop at the Tucson business he owns, Mobility Fitness Institute.
Caldwell told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "I''m upset because that's where we do all our invoices and everything from there so I figure, wow, who's been on it, I started questioning my employees.
Willie had his laptop fixed, but two days later, another virus hit: His own webcam appeared on screen, again with an FBI logo.
Caldwell told us, "It actually was videotaping us through the webcam. As we walked in the office we're seeing ourselves on our own screen. so then I was wondering where are they streaming this from."
Adds Stutsman about the virus, "It won't allow you to do anything at all. Matter of fact, some people know about safe mode. You boot in the safe mode, it actually gives you the blue screen of death, so it won't actually let you in safe mode.
Stutsman, who owns Quik Tech Computer Services, says it's important that you have an anti-virus program and anti-spyware software, and run frequent scans. But there's another scam on the rise that software can't stop.
Stephanie Mustain recently got a call in her Oro Valley home. A guy claiming to be from Microsoft said he found viruses on her computer.
"As soon as he started talking credit card and offering a fee for the service, that was when I got extremely angry and said I would call my own computer guy, and hung up my phone," Ms. Mustain said.
Of course never pay anyone who calls you, especially unsolicited, claiming to be from Microsoft or any other computer related company. And remember, if you have a story you want us to investigate, please email us at Investigators@kvoa.com.