Warning over latest moneymaking scam

Warning over latest moneymaking scam

23 November 2011 - by CIARA COLHOUN

A SEAFORDE woman has warned local householders to be alert after she was targeted in a telephone scam.

Mrs. Yvonne Kane received a telephone call from a bogus computer company last week urging her to turn on her computer to a virus from her Windows system.

She said the call was made by a very well-spoken and seemingly professional woman, who spoke English with a foreign accent.

The woman attempted to convince Mrs. Kane there was problem with her computer which her company had been tasked to tackle on behalf of Windows customers.

Mrs. O’Kane was suspicious about the call and told the woman she would call her back when her son arrived home. The woman gave her a false telephone number.

Mrs. O’Kane says she feels fortunate to have refused to open her computer system as she has since been told the con artist was most likely attempting to access her bank and credit card details on line.

She believes other people may be “taken in” by a similar caller and hopes her story will serve as a warning.

“The woman was very polite and professional and asked me to switch the computer on so she could lead me through a process to delete the virus,” she said.

“She said she belonged to a company that was telephoning all local people with Windows, which to me sounded suspicious.

“My concern is that somebody else may take her at face value and unwittingly give her access to their credit details.

“She sounded so official that I was not sure if it was a scam until I realise the telephone number she gave me, which began with 808, was not in use.”

Local police this week confirmed they are aware of such telephone scams from purported software companies and have reminded people not to give out personal details over the telephone to an unsolicited caller.

“These calls stated the persons’ computers were experiencing problems-ranging from virus threats to out of date software-and claiming they would fix it for a set fee and the caller then asked for bank details,” a police spokesman said.

“If you are unsure of a caller or feel that something is not right then ask for details to ascertain their identity.

“Ask where they are phoning from, where they have got your details from and where they have obtained your telephone number. Ask them if there is a number you can phone them back on or if there is another representative from their company that you can contact.

“If you are still unsure about them then contact the company or business to check if the call is genuine. Legitimate companies won’t have a problem with you calling them back.”

Police would encourage anyone who receives a call of this nature to terminate the call and contact police. If a caller display is available, note the incoming number and give it to police — this will help trace the origin of the call. Police can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.