Computer scam warning

PSNI crest
PSNI crest

POLICE in Mid-Ulster are warning the public to be vigilant following reports of a scam targeting computer users.

Police have received reports of people receiving messages to their computers, purporting to be from the Police. The computer is frozen on a warning message stating their computer has been locked as it has been used for illegal purposes and they must make a payment or else be investigated. It seems that the computer may also be infected with a virus and the scam may demand payment in the form of UKash vouchers.

These messages are fraudulent and Police never send out messages like this. If you receive suspicious messages you are advised to report it to police.

Police are warning local people to be vigilant and protect themselves against unscrupulous criminals who are constantly identifying and developing new methods to defraud innocent people.

Police are also asking people to be wary of unusual requests to use the ‘UKASH’ payments system.

UKASH enables people to shop online when they do not have a bank account, or do not want to use their accounts for an internet transaction. Customers visit a UKASH trader and buy a voucher, which they can then use to shop online, or even send money to friends or relatives overseas. However, police are aware of what appears to have been attempts by criminals to defraud computer users.

Do not send UKASH codes to anyone asking you for payment in suspicious circumstances. You may be asked to send a fee in the form of a UKASH voucher code by email, or over the telephone. This is a fraud and you will lose your money.

Only spend UKASH online and at genuine merchants listed on the company’s website and never provide any voucher details to a third-party by any method as it should be treated just like cash. The company provides a range of security tips and advice on its website,