By: Christine Souders
Warning, scammers posing as the FBI are invading computers in the Quad Cities Area.
Jeanette Eastman of Moline found out her computer got hacked Thursday Morning, when a strange FBI alert blocked her from getting into her email account. Eastman read what it said in the text, and she was stunned.
A screen with the FBI across the top, and directly underneath in bold font, Attention!!! Your PC is blocked.
"To send something that looks so official just scares me because all the things they listed were really serious things," said Eastman.
As you read following paragraphs, it accuses Jeanette of illegally using and distributing copyrighted material, and viewing explicit content, such as child porn. It states, if she doesn't pay 200$ (yes, $ is after nominal figure) in the next 72 hours, she could face up to eight years in prison, and a $100,000 in fines.
"As I started to read through it about the 3rd time, it just dawned on me that this was just a scam, if there ever was one."
Jeanette and her niece Becky reported the scam to police right away. "You don't know how much information they have. They have your IP address. What else have they got in there?" said Becky Gardner.
Computer Technician Brent Bodkin said viruses are becoming more sophisticated, "They're trying to use scare tactics to get people to open these types of attachments and generally the government is not going to contact you through email."
And there are things to look out for, before you become a victim, "Anything that's coming through as a generic email, that's usually a tell tale sign that it's not legitimate," said Bodkin.
The FBI says it is aware this scam is going around. You can file a complaint at www.ic3.gov and you can contact the police.