Lake St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - A monkeypak virus warning is being issued by the police chief in Lake St. Louis.

Lake St. Louis Police Chief Michael Force said the email-based scam, called the 'FBI monkeypack virus,' is one of the most popular cyber scams. It locks a user's computer and claims the user must pay the FBI a fine to regain use of their device.

The virus can install itself onto your computer just by clicking on a compromised website, Force said. Once the infected, the computer locks, and a pop-up says the user has violated federal law. The pop-up screen says the only way to unlock the computer is to pay $200 using a prepaid money card service. The pop-up warns users that criminal charges will be filed if the fine is not paid.

Chief Force is advising residents not to pay any money or purchase any prepaid money cards.

Force said victims and those targeted by the scam should report the incident to the local FBI office at 314-231-4324, as well as the St. Charles Cyber Crime Unity at 636-949-3020. Those whose computers have been locked should seek help from a computer repair professional or reputable virus protection software to rid themselves of the virus.

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