Beware of computer phone ‘scam’

Joseph Bulmer

Cold caller claims to be able to fix fake computer problem.

POLICE have warned home computer users about a possible telephone scam involving claims to fix a fake computer problem.

A number of people have reported receiving a cold call from a person reporting to be from a computer specialist company, which usually has the word “windows” or “Microsoft” within the title.

The caller, believed to telephoning from a call centre in India, tells victims they have detected a serious error on their computer and asks them to turn on their machine.

They are then asked to log on to particular programme that enables the scammer to access personal data stored on the system.

One resident, from Bideford, told the Gazette: “I told the caller I didn’t own a computer or use Windows and he hung up the phone.”

Police have advised residents not enter into any form of conversation with such callers or log in on their websites.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “We would advise people to ensure they are aware of who they are talking to before giving out any personal information or passwords, whether, on-line, on the telephone or in person.”

A statement on Microsoft’s website said: “We do not send unsolicited email or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information or fix your computer.

“If you receive an unsolicited email message or phone call that purports to be from Microsoft and requests that you send personal information or click links, delete the email or hang up the phone.”