Public warned of computer scam misusing police logos


Gardaí have warned the public about a computer scam that misuses police logos, locking people out of their computers and then asking them to pay a fine to regain access.

The malicious software detects the location of a computer, displays the logo of that country’s police force and locks the screen.

Gardaí said the virus message usually accused the victim of illegal activity and demanded payment of a fine to return control of the computer to its owner. In a statement, gardaí said they would never contact people in this way.

“People should not share their bank details or pay out any money. If your computer becomes infected by this malicious software, all affected computers should be repaired by a reputable repair person.”

They said where a person had been tricked into paying, a report should be made to a Garda station. They warned computer users to keep their anti-virus software as up-to-date as possible. Incidents of the attacks have been recorded elsewhere, gardaí added, warning computer users that here may also be targeted.