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Online scammers using fake FBI message to demand money

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WASHINGTON — The FBI warned computer users on Thursday to ignore a fake message, purportedly from its officers, that freezes people’s screens and demands that they pay a fine for visiting inappropriate websites.

“We’re getting inundated with complaints,” said Donna Gregory from the US Internet Crime Complaint Center, referring to the virus known as Reveton ransomware, which has hit users in the United States and globally.

“Some people have actually paid the so-called fine,” she said, describing the virus as “drive-by malware” that installs itself when a user clicks on a compromised website and issues a message saying a federal law has been broken.

“The bogus message goes on to say that the user’s Internet address was identified by the FBI or the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section as having been associated with child pornography sites or other illegal online activity,” the FBI said in a statement.

“To unlock their machines, users are required to pay a fine using a prepaid money card service,” it said, accompanied by reports from victims who had paid fines of $200.

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The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center and it was launched in 2000 to allow people to report cyber crimes to US law enforcement.

Gregory, however, said there is no easy fix for users whose computers have been infected.

“Unlike other viruses, Reveton freezes your computer and stops it in its tracks. And the average user will not be able to easily remove the malware,” she said.

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FLASHBACK: Jeffrey Epstein accuser revealed there are tapes of famous men with underage girls

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A 2015 report is resurfacing on Raw Story as the Jeffrey Epstein trial begins and Washington and New York men fear being outed.

It appears that a series of QAnon Facebook groups and pro-Trump groups were the ones responsible for posting the story.

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Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker — Britain to hold emergency meeting

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ran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain prepared for an emergency security meeting on Tehran's action.

Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.

Video footage released by Iran showed the Stena Impero tanker being surrounded by speedboats before troops in balaclavas descend a rope from a helicopter onto the vessel.

In an audio recording of a radio exchange, an Iranian officer can be heard ordering the tanker to change course "immediately".

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For Cubans — a day at the beach is no easy task

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Cuba's constitution guarantees its people access to its beaches, but many locals are unable to enjoy the island's pristine white sands and crystal clear blue waters.

While foreign tourists flock to such paradisiacal Havana sites as Varadero, which was this year named the second most-beautiful beach in the world by American travel website TripAdvisor, Cubans are typically found elsewhere.

"Not many tourists come here," said 43-year-old Rey Gonzalez, who was enjoying a day at Guanabo, a beach east of the capital.

Guanabo's sand isn't as white and the water not quite as clear as Varadero's, but that mattered little to Gonzalez, who was there with his family.

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