Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #180 12/19/2012

Question: Should I pay fee when the US government blocks my computer?


No, you have malware on your computer. The screen will look like it is from the US Department of Justice and says they have observed you doing some type of illegal activity (donít worry that it says you watched porn or went to illegal sites or something else as it really did not observe anything and has nothing to do with what you may have or have not done) and will show your IP address (which it just grabs as it displays, not really been reported to the government. It does not include the normal little boxes in the corner so you can reduce the window size or close it. The message also tells you to pay a fee (usually $200) and that it will then free your computer. It says you must pay this using GreenDot pay services thru a convenience store. (that in itself should tell you this is malware and not the government as the government would not have you pay a third party thru a payment service, you write your check to the IRS each April, not to Joe Takeurmoney although you may use a payment service to send directly to the IRS)

This is malware and are people taking your money. You got it by going to a web site that was infected with this malware or clicking on a link in an email that was an infection.

Simply doing Alt-Ctrl-Del and choosing Task Manager will not work the first time. However I have found that usually doing that choice a second time will let you get to your desktop but the infection is still on your machine and reappears when you re-start the computer.

To get rid of this, restart your computer in Safe Mode. To do this click the F8 key repetitively as the computer starts (before Windows opens) and you will get a menu with Safe Mode, Normal Mode and other options. Choose Safe Mode.

Now run your anti-virus program with a full scan. This will take a while. If you have SuperAntiSpyware on your machine run a full scan with it also. If you do not have a antivirus program on your machine then you will need to go to another machine and download the standalone version of SuperAntiSpyware (from www.superantispyware.com) and put on a thumb usb flash drive and you can run from it on your PC. And when you start your computer back install an antivirus program on your PC. (Avast and AVG both make good programs available for free on the Internet).

Do not pay these people the fee they want, if you cannot clean it from your computer get a person who knows computers to help you.