AKRON, Ohio - Wait! Don't open that email!
Yes, of course, it looks like a great deal—and who isn't trying to save money this holiday shopping season?—but if you click on a scam, it could cost you big. It may even ruin your computer.
That's because scammers are using phishing emails that look like they're coming from Amazon, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, among others, but really contain the CryptoLocker PC virus.
The warning comes from the city of Akron in a news release that says these emails will promise you deals on free shipping and coupons, trying to entice you to click.
But if you fall for it, prepare for trouble.
As residents in Eastlake recently learned , CryptoLocker is a type of "ransomware" that holds your PC hostage until you pay the scammers. But what makes CryptoLocker different is that it can permanently destroy your files and photos and everything else on your computer.
Rick Schmahl, Akron's Chief Information Officer, says you shouldn't expect anything good to happen if you get CryptoLocker and pay thieves the ransom they demand.
"Their profit margin goes down if they spend time tracking and generating passwords," Schmahl says.
Your best bet is to avoid clicking on or downloading anything from emails that come from sources you don't recognize.
And keep your computer's anti-virus programs up-to-date.