Scamwatch is alerting consumers to a spike in the number of people falling victim to ransomware scams in 2015, compared to last year.
The ACCC has already received approximately the same number of reports for malware and ransomware scams in 2015 as were reported for the whole of 2014.
Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks or limits access to your computer or files, and demands a ransom be paid to the scammer for them to be unlocked.
Infected computers often display messages to convince you into paying the ransom. Scammers may pretend to be from the police and claim you have committed an illegal activity and must pay a fine, or they may simply demand payment for a 'key' to unlock your computer.
If you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee your computer will be unlocked.
Read more about the latest ransomware scams: