(WMC-TV) - Cyber attackers have a launched a virus that can destroy your computer files, and they are disguising their links to appear as though they are being sent from shipping companies, like FedEx.
Police are warning everyone with an email address to be extra careful this holiday season.
The virus is called "crypto locker" and IT firms, like HPT Systems, are warning customers not to open any email files or attachments from shipping giants UPS or FedEx if you're not signed up on FEDEX.COM or you're not expecting a shipment
"Typically we don't hear about computer virus situations, but in light of the holiday season, like I was saying, it just seemed important that people know when they're tracking shipments, anything from UPS or FedEx," said Sgt. Robert Lupinetti.
"The key is not to open the attachment," said Allen Herr, HPT Systems. "Go to official web sites, use tracking numbers...safest bet."
If you do click on the link and a red window pops up demanding a ransom, unplug computer immediately and call an IT service provider. If your files are not backed up they could be gone forever.
Experts warn not to fall for the virus creator's promise to restore your files if you pay the ransom.
"We have had customers pay it and get files back and other who have and files still unable to be returned, sure bet," warned Herr.
Experts say if you fear an email could be a virus, do not open the attachments or click on any links within the email.
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