Arlington Heights Victim: Computer Scammers Pretend They're From The U.S. Department of Justice

Arlington Heights police received a report about 2:56 PM Tuesday of a computer scam against a resident that lives in the block of 800 South Dwyer Avenue Arlington Heights, IL. Police received a report that an unknown offender or offenders attempted a computer fraud scam against an Arlington Heights resident.

A 70-year-old complainant was playing scrabble on her computer when a screen shot from the U.S. Department of Justice filled her monitor screen. She was unable to exit the screen or restart her computer. The message stated "All illegal activities have been recorded in the police database, including photos and videos from your camera for further identification. You have been registered by viewing pornography involving minors." The screen also stated the complainant needed to pay $300 due to the violation and could be criminally prosecuted. She was given 48 hrs to pay or "The Fight Against Cyber activity" would confiscate her computer. The screen shot advised she was being audio- and video-recorded even though she did not have a camera on her computer.

The crime is reported to have occurred between Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.

There are several versions of this scam/virus schemes -- many claiming to come from the F.B.I. or other federal/state agency, or an online anti-virus company. Some scams include a referral to a virus removal company where you can make an immediate payment to protect your computer. In many cases the "virus removal company" actually puts more harmful programs on the victim's computer while they pay for a fake anti-virus program.

Users need to use reputable antivirus software with updated definitions that can be purchased from a store such as Best Buy, CDW or ABT. Otherwise users need to take the computer to a reputable computer repair company.

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