Industry News

Three Brits Arrested for Running ‘Police Ransomware’ Con

UK police arrested three fake cops for running a ransomware-type scam over the Internet and demanding £100 `fines’ from victims.

The three suspects from Stoke-on-Trent, two men and a woman, were detained for questioning by the Staffordshire police on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of items to use in fraud.

It appears the three fake cops got their hands on malicious software and used it to block victims’ computers and demand money to unlock the systems. On the targeted computer, the malicious software displayed alarmist warnings informing the victims that the Metropolitan Police or the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) has been closely monitoring them and uncovered some online offenses allegedly committed by the victim.

As a result to those illegal online activities, police will hold all files sequestered and the victims will have to pay a £100 fine by electronic payment to unlock the machines and regain access to their personal files.

PCeU officers in London in collaboration with North West hubs and Staffordshire Police, searched three addresses on 11 December before they made the arrests.

Detective Inspector Jason Tunn, from the PCeU, said: “The arrests shows we are determined to combat this type of crime. I remind all computer users that police do not use such a method to impose or enforce fines, so if you are confronted by such a page do not enter any of your details. Call police on 101.”

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.

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