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Web smut oglers accosted by bogus pop-up plod fines

Relax, it's just a scam, say cops

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Strathclyde Police are not levying fines on punters watching internet porn, the force has been obliged to explain.

Scam messages, that often appear as pop-ups and pose as messages from the plod, claim a user's machine has been locked for showing adult content. Marks are told they need to pay a £100 fine over the phone in order to supposedly regain access to their machine.

Whether they are asked to speak to a scammer posing as a hard-bitten Glasgow detective, perhaps impersonating fictional telly 'tec Jim Taggart, at this point remains unclear.

Details of the scam are vague. Malware of some kind would apper to be involved. The ruse may be an imaginative variant of ransomware Trojans that encrypt document files on infected PCs before demanding a fee for unlock codes. But without any details we can't be sure of anything except that Strathclyde Police is not levying spot fines for smut surfers. Or at least not yet.

Strathclyde Police said an investigation into the scam was already underway.

"We would like to assure the public that this is an internet scam and has absolutely nothing to do with Strathclyde Police, and that our organisation never asks the public for money," a police spokesman told the BBC. "We would urge the public not to follow the instructions on screen or call the number given or send any money."

"Officers are currently carrying out numerous and extensive inquires to trace the source of this scam and would also ask that anyone who has received this scam pop-up on their computer to contact their local police office as soon as possible." ®

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