Worcestershire computer users urged to be on their guard over scam

Malvern Gazette: Police alert over a computer scam Police alert over a computer scam

CYBER scammers targeting personal information are now acting through phone calls rather than e-mail viruses.

A senior West Mercia detective is urging people to be extra vigilant after reports of a number of people being targeted by bogus telephone calls.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Williamson said information from Worcestershire Regulatory Services indicated that local people had been receiving phone calls from a scam company claiming there was a fault with their computer.

The scammers have been telling residents that their computers are about to crash and requesting £200 to fix the fault.

If the fee is paid, the fraudsters then gain remote access to the victims’ computers and potentially to personal information, such as bank details and passwords.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services joint committee chairman Lucy Hodgson said relatives of hers had been targeted by a similar scam and knew how distressing it was.

“Residents should be aware that neither Micro-soft nor its partners make unsolicited calls to fix your computer. If you receive a cold call from a company claiming you have a fault on your computer, be on your guard and do not pay any fees.

“Consult a reputable local computer repair business if you feel there may be an issue.”

Consumers are advised to be wary of unsolicited calls related to computer faults or security problems – even if they claim to represent a respected company, never provide personal information, such as credit card or bank details, do not go to a website, type anything into a computer, install software or follow any other instruction from someone who you do not know, take the caller’s details down and pass them on, make sure security updates are installed regularly on your computer, the firewall is turned on and that anti-virus software is installed and up to date, and if there are any concerns about the computer, ask a reputable expert to have a look.

Related links

For further information, or to report a call, contact Citizens Advice consu-mer service on 08454 040506 and Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or visit actionfraud.police.uk/.

Comments (7)

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10:03am Mon 2 Dec 13

CJH says...

I've had several of these calls. I ask them to hold on while I go to my office, then come back several minutes later and (if they're still there) just tell them I don't have a computer. Easy.
I've had several of these calls. I ask them to hold on while I go to my office, then come back several minutes later and (if they're still there) just tell them I don't have a computer. Easy. CJH

10:34am Mon 2 Dec 13

tub_thumper says...

I just pick up the phone and don't say anything. If it's legitimate, they will say "Hello, is anyone there?" If it's not then they just hang up. If you do answer the call and you hear a pause (and then a "click") it means that you've been connected via the Internet to an advisor. A computer rang your number so their advisor can talk to you. If is a internet connect then it's probably a poor connection and a poor English accent too. Just hang up...

On the contrary, if you ever get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank or building society they will always say "Can we ask you a few questions to confirm your identity?" Whether it legitimate or not I will always reply with "Actually, can you provide me with some information to prove that your are my bank/building society?" This causes them a problem so then I tell them I don't do things over the phone, I say goodby and then I hang up...
I just pick up the phone and don't say anything. If it's legitimate, they will say "Hello, is anyone there?" If it's not then they just hang up. If you do answer the call and you hear a pause (and then a "click") it means that you've been connected via the Internet to an advisor. A computer rang your number so their advisor can talk to you. If is a internet connect then it's probably a poor connection and a poor English accent too. Just hang up... On the contrary, if you ever get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank or building society they will always say "Can we ask you a few questions to confirm your identity?" Whether it legitimate or not I will always reply with "Actually, can you provide me with some information to prove that your are my bank/building society?" This causes them a problem so then I tell them I don't do things over the phone, I say goodby and then I hang up... tub_thumper

2:08pm Mon 2 Dec 13

A Different View says...

This has actually been happening for a couple of years at least.

Quite often they claim to be from Microsoft.

I doubt many tech savy people would fall for this, but worth mentioning it to any elderly relatives etc.
This has actually been happening for a couple of years at least. Quite often they claim to be from Microsoft. I doubt many tech savy people would fall for this, but worth mentioning it to any elderly relatives etc. A Different View

5:38pm Mon 2 Dec 13

New Kid on the Block says...

I keep a referee type whistle by the phone. When I get a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or trying to sell something despite me being registered with the telephone preference service I blow it down the phone.
It probably won't do any good but the thought of whoever was pestering me with their ears ringing makes me smile.
As Christmas approaches the email scammers appear to be out in force. One common scam goes along the lines of "We tried to deliver a parcel but you were out, please see the attached form for details of what to do", in an email apparently from a well known parcel delivery firm.
Another claims to be from the Bank claiming to have transferred money again with an attachment supposedly containing details. This can be any Bank whether or not you have an account with them doesn't matter.
Yet another claims that the email server is due for maintenance and if you don't follow the instructions in the attachment you will lose all your saved emails.
What these scams all have in common is that the attachment is in the form of a zip file (the file name will end in .zip) and the address where it came from will usually bear little or no resemblance to the name of the firm that is supposed to have sent it.
DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THESE ATTACHMENTS
I don't know what they contain but you can be sure that if you do open them it will not be to your benefit.
These emails can look quite realistic, they will probably copy the website of the firm they claim to come from. But be careful - don't open a zip file unless you are sure of the origin. They are a classic means used by Scammers to try and avoid anti virus software. Don't let these idiots spoil your Christmas.
I keep a referee type whistle by the phone. When I get a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or trying to sell something despite me being registered with the telephone preference service I blow it down the phone. It probably won't do any good but the thought of whoever was pestering me with their ears ringing makes me smile. As Christmas approaches the email scammers appear to be out in force. One common scam goes along the lines of "We tried to deliver a parcel but you were out, please see the attached form for details of what to do", in an email apparently from a well known parcel delivery firm. Another claims to be from the Bank claiming to have transferred money again with an attachment supposedly containing details. This can be any Bank whether or not you have an account with them doesn't matter. Yet another claims that the email server is due for maintenance and if you don't follow the instructions in the attachment you will lose all your saved emails. What these scams all have in common is that the attachment is in the form of a zip file (the file name will end in .zip) and the address where it came from will usually bear little or no resemblance to the name of the firm that is supposed to have sent it. DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THESE ATTACHMENTS I don't know what they contain but you can be sure that if you do open them it will not be to your benefit. These emails can look quite realistic, they will probably copy the website of the firm they claim to come from. But be careful - don't open a zip file unless you are sure of the origin. They are a classic means used by Scammers to try and avoid anti virus software. Don't let these idiots spoil your Christmas. New Kid on the Block

10:03pm Mon 2 Dec 13

chrism says...

If I have the time I like to see how long I can keep the Microsoft scammers on the phone, not quite following their instructions (or claiming I've done so, without actually doing so). I count it as a win if I can get them to swear at me (pointing out that I'm an IT professional and know a lot more about computers than them when I get bored after half an hour or so usually manages that) - though in any case I figure if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to somebody who might fall for it.
If I have the time I like to see how long I can keep the Microsoft scammers on the phone, not quite following their instructions (or claiming I've done so, without actually doing so). I count it as a win if I can get them to swear at me (pointing out that I'm an IT professional and know a lot more about computers than them when I get bored after half an hour or so usually manages that) - though in any case I figure if they're on the phone to me they're not on the phone to somebody who might fall for it. chrism

4:58pm Tue 3 Dec 13

spider666 says...

New Kid on the Block wrote:
I keep a referee type whistle by the phone. When I get a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or trying to sell something despite me being registered with the telephone preference service I blow it down the phone.
It probably won't do any good but the thought of whoever was pestering me with their ears ringing makes me smile.
As Christmas approaches the email scammers appear to be out in force. One common scam goes along the lines of "We tried to deliver a parcel but you were out, please see the attached form for details of what to do", in an email apparently from a well known parcel delivery firm.
Another claims to be from the Bank claiming to have transferred money again with an attachment supposedly containing details. This can be any Bank whether or not you have an account with them doesn't matter.
Yet another claims that the email server is due for maintenance and if you don't follow the instructions in the attachment you will lose all your saved emails.
What these scams all have in common is that the attachment is in the form of a zip file (the file name will end in .zip) and the address where it came from will usually bear little or no resemblance to the name of the firm that is supposed to have sent it.
DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THESE ATTACHMENTS
I don't know what they contain but you can be sure that if you do open them it will not be to your benefit.
These emails can look quite realistic, they will probably copy the website of the firm they claim to come from. But be careful - don't open a zip file unless you are sure of the origin. They are a classic means used by Scammers to try and avoid anti virus software. Don't let these idiots spoil your Christmas.
I used to work for Microsoft ---I'm deaf now ;)
[quote][p][bold]New Kid on the Block[/bold] wrote: I keep a referee type whistle by the phone. When I get a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or trying to sell something despite me being registered with the telephone preference service I blow it down the phone. It probably won't do any good but the thought of whoever was pestering me with their ears ringing makes me smile. As Christmas approaches the email scammers appear to be out in force. One common scam goes along the lines of "We tried to deliver a parcel but you were out, please see the attached form for details of what to do", in an email apparently from a well known parcel delivery firm. Another claims to be from the Bank claiming to have transferred money again with an attachment supposedly containing details. This can be any Bank whether or not you have an account with them doesn't matter. Yet another claims that the email server is due for maintenance and if you don't follow the instructions in the attachment you will lose all your saved emails. What these scams all have in common is that the attachment is in the form of a zip file (the file name will end in .zip) and the address where it came from will usually bear little or no resemblance to the name of the firm that is supposed to have sent it. DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THESE ATTACHMENTS I don't know what they contain but you can be sure that if you do open them it will not be to your benefit. These emails can look quite realistic, they will probably copy the website of the firm they claim to come from. But be careful - don't open a zip file unless you are sure of the origin. They are a classic means used by Scammers to try and avoid anti virus software. Don't let these idiots spoil your Christmas.[/p][/quote]I used to work for Microsoft ---I'm deaf now ;) spider666

7:42am Wed 4 Dec 13

New Kid on the Block says...

Nice one Spider but Microsoft never phone you up out of the blue.
Nice one Spider but Microsoft never phone you up out of the blue. New Kid on the Block

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