Police warn us all the time to watch out for scammers who may be trying to steal our money. Now, it's police who are being told to protect themselves from a growing crime trend.
Ransomware scams have cost Americans more than $200 million in the first three months of the year.
Typically, scammers target everyday people like you and me. But lately they're going after more law enforcement agencies.
The scam allows hackers to take a computer hostage and not let go of it until a ransom is paid. These attacks usually happen when a person opens an infected email or website.
Since 2013 hackers have hit police departments in at least seven states. Experts say police agencies are becoming the new target because many have older computer systems which can make it easier for hackers to break into.
Fortunately, experts say most ransomware cases have not tainted any police evidence yet.