Police issue another internet scam warning

Web surfers in south Leeds are being warned to continue being vigilant as investigations continue into an online fraud scam.

West Yorkshire Police is advising residents to be wary of the scam in which conmen are using the Force logo to try and solicit cash from web surfers after receiving more reports from people who have seen the fraud, first reported back in April.

Detectives are again advising residents that police would never seek money from residents via a website and to contact them if the scam pops up on their computer.

According to reports, the scam can affect users on any and all websites, and operates by locking computers and sending users a message claiming to be from West Yorkshire Police.

The message claims that the Force has identified them as having illegal activity on the computer and that they must pay a fine which varies in amounts, by contacting an email address or telephone number and quoting a voucher code displayed on the message.

Police are urging members of the public to be on the look out for the message and if it appears on their computers, they must NOT respond to it and report it to the police immediately via 101.

It is thought the scam has hit other areas of the country and has just recently come to light in West Yorkshire.

Detective Inspector Fran Naughton of West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said:

“We are continuing investigations into this scam and want to remind residents to be wary of it and not to pay if they receive this message. This fraud is very deceiving as not only does it use convincing legal jargon, it also misuses the Force crest and logo.

“If you see this message on your screen report it to us straight away and do not reply or attempt to pay.

“Work continues with other forces to locate those responsible for this fraud and I would again remind residents that no Police Force would ever contact residents demanding a cash fine for computer misuse.”

Anyone who receives this message should contact West Yorkshire Police on 101.

As general advice, people should not open anything that appears unsolicitated on the internet or emails that provide links, even if appear they have come from someone you know as they are probably containing a virus. I’ve fallen victim to this scam and it’s a particularly nasty one to purge from your computer.