A virus has been plaguing computers all over the country which locks down the computer and holds the files for ransom until a fine is paid.
ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama was infected with the virus twice this month. The first time they had to pay $300 dollars to get their files back.
"One of our producers was sent an attachment that the subject line said it was from an administrator. And it had a file attached and the producer thought it was a legitimate file and she clicked on it. And when she did, it was a red screen that popped up and said crypto locker," director of engineering for ABC 33/40, Ron Thomas told Channel 7 News.
The virus has been called ransomware and could lock down any computer, asking for money in return. The FBI told Channel 7 News there are a number of signs to look out for.
"Watch out for one time only offers. Watch out for offers that only ask you to pay in cash. Watch out for specific attachments that ask for personal information online," FBI supervisory special agent Kimberly Brunell said.
Brunell also said that there is a version of the virus going around pretending to be from the FBI and other law enforcement that accuses the computer user of an internet crime such as looking at child pornography and asks for a fine.
"We would never ask you to pay money online in order to unlock your computer," Brunell said, adding that fines always go through the judicial system.
Anyone who encounters this virus or any suspicious activity online should visit ic3.gov and report it.
The FBI also warns computer users should always back up personal files and never click on attachments in which the origin is unknown.