This particular version emerged in 2004, says David Emm at internet security specialists Kaspersky Lab.He says: ‘It’s a form of extortion and it can pop up on anyone’s computer.

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Jackie says that stories of Joseph's kindness have consoled her, she recently found out Joseph helped their disabled neighbour after a fall in the garden‘You can scare 500 people out of money in a few days and then you shut that online account down and open another one using a different email address, which is really all you need.

It makes it almost impossible to trace.’Stories of Joseph’s kindness and sense of fun console Jackie a little.

But that they, the UK police, can’t pursue these people.

No one will ever be charged with the scam that made Joseph kill himself.’Cyber-security experts confirm that the virus is run by organised criminal gangs who make millions from it.

She and Joseph used to talk about selling the house and using a slice of the money to travel together during his gap year.‘He read newspapers endlessly and knew so much about current affairs.

And like many autistic children, he could get obsessed with things.

Purporting to come from the police, it told him to pay a fine of £100 or face arrest.

Most people would have seen through the scam, cursed their bad luck and attempted to remove the virus.

Over the last 18 months it’s started appearing on smartphones as well as PCs.’The scam doesn’t always appear in the guise of the Cheshire Police Authority.

In this country, a similar ‘threat’ appears to come from the Metropolitan Police, and there are others that use the logos of agencies all over the world, including the FBI.‘Certainly, Nigeria has been the source of a lot of phishing scams, but this could come from anywhere in the world.

The answer lay on Joseph’s laptop upstairs in his bedroom.