Derbyshire police are asking people to take extra safety steps to protect their personal files from computer fraudsters.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has recently received a number of reports relating to malicious software known as CryptoLocker.
The ransom-ware virus is mainly spread through emails attachments and can take over personal files such as images and documents.
After the malware scam has been downloaded onto a computer a pop-up page will launch asking for a payment to remove the software.
Detective Constable Julie Wheeldon from the East Midlands Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit said: “Malicious software, such as CryptoLocker, can be destructive but thankfully there are simple steps that you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
“Installing security software on your computer and ensuring that you discard any emails from unknown address without opening them are just some of the ways that you can prevent yourself against this type of fraud”.
Simple and effective steps can be put in place to further project yourself from fraud. Advice includes:
Install anti-virus and firewall software for your computer and set these to update automatically.
Do not open email attachments from unknown sources, especially if it is something that you are not expecting.
Set your web browser to the highest level of security to prevent against malware and computer crime.
Try to make regular backups of your files and store them safely.