Home Knoxville Press Releases 2012 Internet Scam Warning: Reveton Ransomware

Internet Scam Warning: Reveton Ransomware

FBI Knoxville September 28, 2012
  • Supervisory Special Agent Marshall Stone (865) 544-0751

Eastern Tennessee residents are continuing to report incidents of the Reveton ransomware Internet scam. Reveton is a computer virus that is installed on a computer when a user visits a compromised website. Once installed, the computer locks up while displaying a warning that the FBI or the Department of Justice has identified the computer as being involved in criminal activity.

The bogus message instructs the user to pay a “fine” using a prepaid money card service, which will unlock the computer. Users are threatened with criminal prosecution if they fail to make the payment.

This is a scam to extort money. Fines resulting from criminal activity are assessed and processed by the court system. The FBI will never demand payment to unlock a computer.

Anyone falling victim to this scam is encouraged to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. Even if users are successful in unlocking their computers, the malware may remain on the system and capture personal information, creating additional fraud risks. Victims may need to contact a computer professional to remove the malware from the infected computer.