A fake email claiming to be from the FBI is targeting Connecticut residents and downloading a virus onto their computers.
The virus is designed to extort money from those who are affected by it, according to a warning from the Department of Consumer Protection and the state Attorney General.
"Our office has received complaints from consumers who we believe have been victimized by this malicious email scam," said Attorney General George Jepsen.
The fake email contains a web link that when clicked, downloads the virus onto the victim's computer. The virus locks the computer and shows a message that the user has violated federal law and that the computer's IP address has been identified by the FBI for viewing child pornography and other illegal internet content, according to the state. The victim is then ordered to pay a "fine" to the U.S. Department of Justice using a prepaid money card service.
Not only does the virus display the extortion message, but it may continue to operate on the computer and compromise the victim's online banking and credit card information.
"Computer crime is a serious, ongoing concern, and it's critically important that consumers remain vigilant to protect the information stored on their personal computers," said William Rubenstein, Consumer Protection Commissioner.
Infected computers may not operate properly and may need to be serviced by a computer expert to remove the virus.
Anyone who thinks they are a victim of this scam or any other computer crime can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center here.