Media Release: Reminder warning about online scam using AFP logo

Release Date: Wednesday, November 21 2012, 02:38 PM

Scammers are continuing to use the Australian Federal Police (AFP) logo in an attempt to defraud Australians by asking them to pay sums of money to unlock their personal computers.

The ‘pop up’ message purports to be from the AFP and informs the computer user that their computer is ‘locked’ and requires the user to pay a fee to ‘unlock’ their system. The appearance of the ‘pop up’ message is due to a virus that is on the personal computer.

Users affected by this particular scam should not pay any money and should seek support from a repair centre if they need assistance to remove the virus.

AFP Manager, Cybercrime Operations, Commander Glen McEwen says that members of the public need to educate themselves and be wary of online scams.

“Unfortunately members of the public are still being affected by this scam.”

“The Australian community is reminded that the AFP does not solicit funds and this message is not associated with the AFP in any way.

“I strongly advise personal computer users to take steps to protect themselves against scams,” Commander McEwen said.

To prevent being caught up in this kind of scam Australians with a personal computer should follow the general computer safety tips below:

  • maintain current anti-virus software that is obtained from a reputable source and is regularly updated
  • ensure their operating system is updated to ensure any security vulnerabilities are mitigated
  •  use strong passwords to protect their personal information
  •  limit the amount of personal information placed on the internet
  •  do not provide financial or other personal information to people that you do not know and trust
  •  never click on links contained within spam or unexpected emails. 

Anyone who receives a similar request or believes they are a victim of this type of fraud should report it to SCAMwatch on 1300 795 995 or go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.

The SCAMwatch website also includes helpful hints for spotting scams and keeping personal details safe.

For more information on internet fraud and scams, visit the AFP website: http://www.afp.gov.au/policing/cybercrime/internet-fraud-and-scams.aspx

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333