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Trojan virus infects thousands of computers in Ohio

Phishing scams are email scams that can lead to individuals suffering financial ruin. Malicious email attachments defraud many, and with over 60,000 computers being infected in just one crime ring's circle, it's no surprise that these emails quickly rake in money for the people who participate.

Malicious software collects anything from Social Security numbers to credit card data, all for the purposes of stealing money from unsuspecting individuals. Simply clicking on the wrong button can infect a computer and end up costing someone hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This particular incident reported on March 30 involved the Bayrob Trojan. The Trojan infected between 60,000 and 160,000 computers while sending out 11 million malicious, infected emails. Many of the infected computers belonged to victims in Ohio. Federal authorities have reported that those individuals lost at least $4 million, but Symantec believes that the number could be as high as $35 million in total over the course of eight years.

In over 500 cases, the Trojan virus infected computers in order to obtain sensitive data like passwords and usernames. Then, the individuals could steal credit card information from the victims. In most cases, victims logged into look-a-like websites without realizing it was a scam.

Several people in the Bayrob crime ring, which is based in Romania, have been arrested and charged. Some have been extradited to the United States.

If you're accused of participating in a crime ring like this, your freedom is in jeopardy. These federal crimes are highly punishable. It's easy for people to be set up to appear as if they sent malicious emails when it was really someone else using the system. Regardless of why you're implicated, it's important to defend yourself from the moment you discover you're accused.

Source: Dayton Daily News, "Thousands in Ohio Fall Victim to Phishing Scam," Cornelius Frolik, March 30, 2017

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