IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - A bizarre new Internet scam is showing up in eastern Idaho. Scammers masquerade as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It might as well be called the "Guilty Conscious Scam." It targets illegal download sites where users might be pulling copyrighted material off the net. All of a sudden a frightening message will pop up on a user's screen.
"The screen says it's from the FBI, it says you have 72 hours to comply with a fine, and your computer's locked," said Idaho Falls computer consultant Monte McCall.
The area's self-proclaimed Fat Geek, McCall has told our station about numerous scams. A computer user came to him with this new virus earlier this week. McCall said scammers hit a user's system with a virus, revealing the message and flipping on the user's webcam.
"It puts your live picture on there to make you think that it's taking a photograph of you and sending it to the government," said McCall.
The sight could be enough to freak anyone out, said McCall, but don't fall for it. The scam asks users to buy a Walmart gift card and enter the number in order to avoid a promised "loss of liberty." It's clearly a scam, he said.
McCall said to avoid the scam, Internet users should keep anti-virus software up-to-date, make sure operating systems are fully updated and make sure Java plug-ins are updated.