ATLANTA -- A computer virus is spreading like wildfire across the nation. It's ugly, nasty and intimidating.
Here is how it works:
You may be looking at a sports or entertainment website when your computer becomes locked with a full screen of the FBI logo threatening you with jail because you are supposedly violating federal law.
The screen states you must hand over $200 within 72 hours or you will be arrested.
Steve Emmett of the Atlanta office of the FBI says this is a scam.
"We will not send a threatening blast on your computer alerting you we have locked down your computer and that we need a payment," Emmett said.
The agency is receiving complaints from computer users across the country. The FBI has put a warning on their website to advise people not to pay the money and to beware of the virus.
This ransom virus has kept computer repair experts busy. The Best Buy Geek Squad off Sidney Marcus Blvd has seen its share of infected computers.
Brennan Holmes says it's a computer virus users pick up by surfing the Web. There is no way to know what sites are infected; Holmes says the user is not to blame.
His advice is simple: "Don't go to any websites you don't trust, don't open any emails that are from unidentified random people, and always, always more than anything, keep an active anti virus on your computer."
Holmes acknowledges protection may still not be enough to keep this virus away. The Malware may still root around in computer programs.
To remove the virus, take your computer to a professional to clean it out.