Computer Virus and Repair Scam Continues To Affect the County
|Author: Trading Standards Cambridge||Published: 2nd January 2012 12:11|
Computer Virus and Repair Scam
Continues To Affect the County
Get Safe OnlineAt Trading Standards Cambridge we would like to warn readers of a computer scam which has been affecting consumers nationally. It starts with a call from a call centre, where the caller asks for the householder by name and address. They then advise the customer that they are calling from ‘Microsoft Tech Support', ‘Windows' or some other major software company, and have detected from their central system that the customer has a virus or fault on their computer. They offer to fix this by dialling into the customer's home computer remotely, and then charge for the ‘repair' and offer an ongoing maintenance contract.
These calls have no connection with Microsoft or Windows. Microsoft state on their website that "Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls".
The callers have no way of knowing whether or not you have a virus or fault on your computer. In fact, they don't even know if you have a computer. They appear to be contacting people at random, with some people receiving as many as four calls a day, and despite how it may look, they aren't actually carrying out any kind of repair to your computer. There is also the possibility they may have accessed personal information on your computer, although we have had no reported cases of this so far.
The scams are proving extremely difficult to tackle due to their international nature and the fact that when one company is shut down, another springs up in its place using the same scam practices, so our greatest defence is to make readers aware of it.
If you have been affected and wish to seek advice or report the matter you can contact our advice partner, Consumer Direct, on 08454 040506. You can find out more about current scams on Action Fraud's website, http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/, or by calling 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is run by the National Fraud Authority.
If you would like advice and information on how to protect your home computer from threats such as viruses and spyware, visit the Get Safe Online website, http://www.getsafeonline.org/. In particular see the Rough Guide to Online Safety available on their website. There is also advice for small businesses about online security.