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    Sorry if this is the wrong section but as it is about laptops I thought I'd try it.

    My sister just called me saying that when she started up her laptop it came up with a message saying it has been locked by the Metroplitan Police and she has to pay £100 to get it unlocked so she can use it again. I saw this as a scam on The Real Hustle once so obviously it is fake.

    Has anyone encountered this before and is there a way around it to get rid of whatever software has been installed through the hack? She is doing a home course at the moment and wiping it would mean she loses everything she has done for it so we only want to try that as a last resort.

    Thanks for any help!
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    Well TBH, I would still recommend that you do perform a system wipe, as chances are even if you remove/disable that bit of spyware, there could be something else lurking around, e.g. a keylogger, which could damage the system or tamper with data. You should be able to get documents, etc. off the drive by booting from a live CD (e.g. Ubuntu) and copying the needed files to an external drive, but make sure to screen anything you take off for executable (.exe) files or anything else that looks dodgy.

    If you really don't want to do that though, try starting in safe mode and running a deep anti-spyware/anti-virus scan from there. Just as a word of advice though: from my experience, a computer is rarely only infected by 1 virus. If something's managed to get through, chances are it's not the only thing she's let in under her guard. Hence running a full clearout is important, if you want to be sure the laptop is stable.
 
 
 
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