ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

Three arrested over “ransomware” scam

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of distributing malicious software known as "ransomware".


Ransomware is a form of malware that attacks your computer, locking you out and demanding payment in the form of a ‘fine’ to have it unlocked.

The warning page distributed by the fraudsters used logos from both the Metropolitan Police and the Police Central Crime e-Crime Unit (PCEU) to make it look more like an official warning notice.

All three suspects, two men and a woman, are from Stoke-on-Trent and are accused of using the malicious code to defraud victims. All three are being held in custody at a Staffordshire police station.

If you receive a message like this on your computer, do not pay the fine and immediately report it to Action Fraud. Although the messages claim to be from the Metropolitan Police and the Central Crime e-Crime Unit, computer users anywhere in the UK can receive the demand.

Read more about the fraud on the Staffordshire Police website.

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.

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