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Victim or Victor in virus/scam

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My pc was infected with what I think was malware. There was a page on only one profile that stated I needed to pay 300.00 for my pc to be released as a federal mandate. It cost me over 200.00 to fix. They wiped out all of my programs and I had to start all over. Is this something that I could have figured out myself for less $? I just want to know. In addition to how i can protect myself from any further mischief.
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    GeekU Moderator

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As it was in just one user account then we could have fixed it for you relatively easily without wiping the drive

As for the best way to protect yourself then always have an antivirus and never get click happy with programme installations or popups on web pages
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