LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A new scareware virus is attacking computers. It shuts down the computer and an ominous note from the FBI appears accusing users of downloading porn and terrorist activity. The catch is, if you pay up to $500, your computer will be unlocked and the accusations go away, but that never happens.
There are hundreds of victims across Kentuckiana and the problem is only getting worse. Users could be surfing the web when this appears.
It's what happened to Louisville resident Tony Acree and his friends.
"I even had a client that was told, that there was child porn on his machine unless you send $500 we'll contact the authorities," Tony Acree, a virus victim, said.
Owner of Mr. Computer, Bryan Scott, says he has seen hundreds of similar cases.
"It's worldwide, that's why I would say it's an epidemic . It's just as nasty as a plague," Scott, said. "Your computer stays infected. You can't get a hold of anybody to get it back. It would be no different than going to the ATM and someone coming up and snatching your money and running away."
IT techs say they've seen hundreds of people come in with this particular virus and once they clean that virus out, chances are it could come back again.
According to Scott, it's a crypto viral extortion scheme happening all over the country and if it hits your computer, you have to pay to get it fixed.
"Whenever they come up with a new way to stop it, the bad guys come up with a new way to bring it back," Acree, said.
The attack can happen when searching any site, from Google to checking a bank account, if the screen does pop up, shut down your computer immediately and take it to an IT tech.