Skype users are being told to be wary of malicious instant messages that are being sent through the service, designed to infect Windows computers.
Security company Sophos has warned that a malicious "worm" is taking advantage of unsuspecting users.
The message reads similar to this: lol is this your new profile pic? http://goo.gl/[REMOVED]?img=[USERNAME]
Clicking on the suspicious link downloads a ZIP file identified as a Trojan.
The Trojan horse opens a backdoor in your computer, allowing a remote hacker to take control of your infected PC. Your computer is then recruited into a botnet and you could fall victim to a ransomware attack.
There have been several variants of this type of instant messaging scam on Facebook and Twitter recently. The danger is that Skype users may be less in the habit of being suspicious about links sent to them than, say, Twitter users.
Action Fraud is reminding users to be wary of clicking on suspicious links they cannot trust.
A Skype spokesperson gave Sophos the following statement:"Skype takes the user experience very seriously, particularly when it comes to security".
"We are aware of this malicious activity and are working quickly to mitigate its impact. We strongly recommend upgrading to the newest Skype version and applying updated security features on your computer".
"Additionally, following links even when from your contacts that look strange or are unexpected is not advisable."
Read more about the malicious worm on the Sophos blog.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.