A Weymouth resident is speaking out to warn others about a computer scam after his computer was targeted by fraudsters.
Eric Norris, 75, opened his internet browser to find it had been hacked into and locked on a webpage that accused him of committing copyright offences.
The webpage claimed to be from the ‘Metropolitan British Police’ – which is not a real police force – and contained a threat saying Mr Norris could face seven years in jail if he did not pay a £100 fine within 24 hours.
He has reported the incident to Action Fraud and wants to make others aware of the scam.
He said: “The webpage even has a 24-hour clock counting down the time I have left to send money.
“If this happened to someone less familiar with technology then it could have really worried them, especially as it claims to be from the police.”
The part-time TNT Post area controller said the incident has been extremely annoying because he often uses the computer for email and work and had to call out a technician to fix his laptop.
He added: “The number of these scams happening recently is getting ridiculous, especially when they pick on older people who could be quite frightened by it.”
A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “This is online fraud called Ransomware, which copies personal files or photos and issues a demand for money in return for the images or files. This case is noteworthy because of the use of a police department as a cover, trying to make a person believe in the scam.
“Use legitimate anti-virus software and keep it up to date, be sure of what you’re installing, and if you don’t recognise the source of emails and popup messages, avoid clicking on them.”
If you’ve lost money or information, or your computer has been taken over by a phishing scam or malware attack, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.