A group of local companies have teamed together to provide free advice for pensioners and vulnerable adults targeted by computer takeover scams.
Some hoaxers impersonate internet service providers and computer companies, in a bid to access people’s computers and ultimately their credit card details.
When I heard from the credit card company what nearly happened I felt sick and angry that such people would target vulnerable pensionersAnonymous scam victim from the Diss area
121 Computers, based in Victoria Road, Diss, and Computing for the Terrified, of Shelfanger, are providing free advice to prevent people being targeted by scammers.
An 85-year-old man from the Diss area, who wishes to remain anonymous, received a call from a scammer, claiming to be from Microsoft, saying his computer had been hacked and this could be sorted remotely for a £2 fee.
When he let them take over his laptop, they altered this figure to £700. The local pensioner spotted this and the ‘mistake’ was supposedly altered back. But his bank was suspicious and stopped two transactions totalling over £1,500, although he was still faced with a computer that had to be reinstalled as he had been locked out of.
“I was wary, but they were so persuasive,” he said. “When I heard from the credit card company what nearly happened I felt sick and angry that such people would target vulnerable pensioners.”
Mary Blackbourn, Director of 121 Computers, said: “Reputable firms like Microsoft and BT don’t make calls like this, but when they talk about transferring the call to a senior supervisor, it can seem very believable.”
Joe Thompson, of Computing For The Terrified, added: “We have teamed up to offer free phone advice if others find themselves in this situation but our concerned as to what they should do.
“This is a problem that will continue to grow as we increase our reliance an being online.”
Users contacted by service providers should request the caller’s contact details, and say you need to time to think, and PC users should never give access to their computers remotely.
Helplines: 121 Computers - 01379 642000
Computing for the Terrified - 01379 652147
Action Fraud - 0300 123 2040
For more information, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk