SPAIN All of a sudden, your computer screen goes blank and is taken over by a warning from the Ministerio del Interior, with the badge of the Policía Nacional looming large - lately the Guardia Civil looms, too. You are accused of 'illegal activity', in your Internet surfing, e-mail and even in the files you thought were safe from prying eyes. You are told that, according to 'the laws of Spain' your computer has been blocked and for further information your IP address shows up, too (Wossat? Internal Protocol address). (Smell a rat yet?) Further down you are further charged with what looks like a maniac'a s**t list: paedophilia, zoophilia, child abuse, "video files have been found containing child pornography, violence" and more such niceties. Oh, and if that's not enough they mention that "your e-mails have contained spam with overtones of terrorism." (More than one rat here, right?) To unblock it, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ THE REST OF ITEMS SUCH AS THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED. Subscription information will be available soon. (Oh, alright then, go on)>>>
you are required to pay a mere €100. (Rat smelling very bad now?) Well, we warned you about it here on July 12, but alas, if you ignored us, you may well have been attacked as several of our Spanish friends did (they don't read CampoPulse in English, is why). To update you: it is a massive spam campaign, so far only in Spanish, but we can expect that to change soon.
The Policía Nacional, which never ever charges for fines online, has received numerous complaints on the subject, and has even been presented with receipts for bank transfers to prove that the 'fine' had been paid and could they please unblock the victim's computer. More efficiently, the police's website gives instructions about how to deal with the problem, as well as a link to a programme that will help you (in Spanish). You may not be able to recover some of the information on your computer, but it's a whole lot better than paying €100 for absolutely nothing - and feeling like an absolute (p)rat.
This item appeared in newspapers on Tuesday, August 21 - we told you about it on July 12 - over a month ago. That's worth a small subscription, isn't it?