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MoneyGram Virus

Also Known As: MoneyGram Ransomware
Damage level: Severe

What is MoneyGram?

MoneyGram is a leading global payment services company, not a virus. Note, however, that today, many computer users refer to MoneyGram as the "MoneyGram Virus". This association is made, since cyber criminals use this legitimate service to collect bogus fines.

This is achieved by infecting Internet users' systems with ransomware viruses, which block computer screens and demand payment of fines to unlock them. Note that MoneyGram is in no way related to ransomware viruses.

If you observe a message on your computer, supposedly from the FBI Cybercrime Division or other authority, ordering payment of a fine for alleged law violations (cyber criminals often make false accusations of watching child pornography or using pirated music and video files), then you are dealing with a ransomware virus.

Europol Interpol ransomware virus

Paying these fines using MoneyGram, as requested by these screen blocking messages, is equivalent to sending your money to cyber criminals.

Ransomware viruses have become a profitable business for cyber criminals who exploit the names of various authorities and organizations and use legitimate money transfer services (such as MoneyGram, MoneyPak, Ukash, PaySafeCard, and Reloadit) to extort money from unsuspecting PC users.

Never trust messages which block your computer screen and demand payment of a fine to unlock it - no legitimate authorities or organizations use these methods to collect fines for any law violations.

Ransomware viruses that use MoneyGram to collect the fake fines are distributed using 'exploit kits', which infiltrate users' systems via malicious websites, infected email messages, or drive-by downloads. To make the fake messages appear authentic, cyber criminals localize them (by detecting the IP address of the infected computer).

Using this deceptive tactic, cyber criminals are able to present the user with a message supposedly originating from a local organization or authority. For example, a ransomware virus from the same family may be displayed as if sent from the FBI Cybercrime Division on a USA-based computer, and as if sent by RCMP on a Canadian-based computer.

Do not trust these messages or pay any fines using MoneyGram. If your computer is infected with a ransomware virus, use the removal guide provided to eliminate this scam.

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Quick menu:

MoneyGram virus removal:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Go to the Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced startup. Click on "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu".

Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings". Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the MoneyGram virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove a ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer starting process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt Mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the MoneyGram ransomware infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remnants of the MoneyGram virus.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk.

Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode, making its removal difficult. For this step, you require access to another computer. After removing the MoneyGram virus from your PC, restart your computer and scan it with legitimate anti-spyware software to remove any possible remnants of this security infection.

Other tools known to remove the MoneyGram virus:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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MoneyGram Ransomware QR code
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