ALERT: South Yorkshire residents warned about scam which locks your computer or phone and 'demands a ransom.

Cybercrime.
Cybercrime.

South Yorkshire residents are being warned about a new scam which locks your computer or phone and 'demands a ransom' to reopen it.

Victims have received phishing emails purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs asking them about tax rebates.

But after either downloading a file attached to the emails or clicking on a link, devices are then infected with Dridex, a type of banking malware, or Locky ransomware, which locks devices and demands a ransom.

A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: "When victims click on the link in the HMRC spoofed texts they are redirected to a registration page requesting personal details.

"The emails and texts appear genuine and the victims who have provided their personal details have consequently had direct debits, mobile phone contracts and new bank accounts set up using their personal information.

"HMRC would never contact people using these methods."