Department of Justice
Internet Scam Warning: Tobfy Ransomware
WASHINGTON - INTERPOL Washington has received numerous reported incidents of the Tobfy ransomware Internet scam. Tobfy, much like its predecessor, Reveton, is a “drive-by” computer virus that installs itself on a computer when a user visits a compromised website. Tobfy is considered a “drive-by” because the user's only action is navigating to the compromised website – no execution of a file is required. Once installed, the virus locks the offending computer while displaying a warning that the “INTERPOL Department of Cybercrime” has blocked your PC due to a possible list of criminal offenses.
The fraudulent message instructs users to pay a “fine” using electronic payment methods, which will unlock the computer. Users are threatened with criminal prosecution if they fail to make the payment.
This is a scam to extort money. Fines resulting from criminal activity are assessed and processed by the court system. INTERPOL Washington will never demand payment to unlock a computer.
Anyone falling victim to this scam is encouraged to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. Even if users are successful in unlocking their computers, the malware may remain on the system and capture personal information, creating additional fraud risks. The Tobfy virus is capable of hijacking, redirecting, and changing internet browser settings and installing other forms of malware such as adware and spyware. Victims may need to contact a computer professional to remove the malware from the infected computer.