Police report that one victim of the scam lost about $9,000, while the other lost $300.

Devils Lake police are alerting locals to a computer virus scam that may be targeting the region.

Police say that in two recent cases, individuals had a message pop up on their web browser featuring an alert about a virus that is infecting their computer. The message urges those affected to call a phone number to have the virus removed.

Authorities have confirmed that two victims have paid money to have the so-called virus removed - but what actually happens in this scam is that spyware is installed remotely on the victim’s computer. The spyware gives the scammer access to all of the files on the computer, including personal information.

Police report that one victim of the scam lost about $9,000, while the other lost $300. This common scam is best avoided by ignoring the message and exploring security options that may help block such pop up ads.