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Holding your computer hostage: A new scam with a ransom

Holding your computer hostage: A new scam with a ransom

CREATED Nov. 15, 2012

Reporter: Kevin Keen

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Think about all the important files on your home computer. There are pictures of your kids, videos of their birthdays, bank statements and tax returns. Now, imagine a stranger holding all those files for ransom.

It's a 21st century threat and at least a dozen Tucsonans have fallen victim. This new scam happens over the phone. If you fall for it, the caller takes control of your personal computer then demands you pay up to get it back.

“It's like the pirates that are off of Somalia. They get the ship. They say, ‘You want your ship back, you gotta pay us,’” said Gary Pierce, an electronics expert at Western Communications in Tucson.

How does it work? How can you protect your family?

We’ll tell you what every member of your household who answers the phone -- young and old -- needs to know. This 9 On Your Side consumer alert airs tonight at 10:00.

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