We’ve had several calls from people who have had their computer suddenly taken over by a screen that claims that they have violated some law or another and that this is a notice from the FBI telling them that their computer has been locked and will be released once the user pays a set amount of money. The last one I saw asked for $300. This was an interesting one in that it used the computer’s built-in camera to take a picture of the user and incorporate it into the notice on the screen. If you want to see all the permutations, google “FBI virus screenshot.” There’s a ton of them.
You can’t do a thing with your computer until you either pay the money (we definitely don’t advise that–once you give these people your credit card number your problems really start), or you remove the virus. It can actually be removed quite easily by an experienced person. If you wish to do it yourself, use another computer and google “FBI virus” and you will find plenty of instructions.
Interesting to note: In Canada, the virus claims it’s from the RCMP. In Great Britain, it’s the Metropolitan Police. See? We’re not unique here in the U.S.