Ransomware scams are nothing new to computer users; one one making the rounds attempts to disguise itself as an FBI cybercrime intervention for suspected nefarious activity. If you get stung by this scam (generally the fastest way is by using underground pirated software search engines and pornographic sites that redirect to the scam page, but even innocent image searches will get you there if you’re not careful), the site will present a notice claiming to come from the FBI “Cyber Department.” It states that the system’s browser has been seized and recorded, and that the user will have to pay a release fee of $300.
To help make the claim look legitimate, the notice displays your IP address and current city and state. The bogus notice tries to make you pay by purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak card from your local pharmacy or convenience store, and then entering its code into the browser.
(Credit: Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET)
- Force-quit the browser
Force-quitting your browser is another approach you can take. In some cases the browser will load your home page instead of reload the problematic site when you next launch it, but some browsers attempt to reload the last session, so this won’t always work to fix the problem.
- Reset Safari