AN Alnmouth pensioner has urged people to be wary of bogus callers after he was targeted by a fraudster in a computer security scam.
And 69-year-old William Gilroy’s warning comes after police put out their own appeal to the public about the very same trick, following a spate of similar reports throughout the county.
The con involves a phone call from someone claiming to work for the computer company Microsoft, asking the receiver to pay more than £100 for security for their computer.
The fraudster rings the victim’s landline and claims that they have a problem with their computer’s security system.
They then try to get the victim to allow them remote access to their computer and offer them a security update in exchange for an immediate one-off payment.
But William, who received the call earlier this week, was not fooled.
He put the phone down on the caller – who he said had an Indian-sounding accent – after he ‘smelt a rat’.
“These things can happen and people need to be warned about this,” he said.
“They sound very official and they try to convince you it is not a con.
“They ask for money and want to have control over your computer.
“When I said to them that I had got some of the best virus protection on my computer, they said that it doesn’t cover these alien programmes.
“They also said that because I have had my computer for two years, the warranty on my protection had expired.
“But I smelt a rat so I disconnected the computer, said that I was putting the phone down and said that I wasn’t going to talk to them anymore.”
William has since contacted the police about the incident.
Police have also urged people not to give out any details over the phone and to report these type of calls to them or to the Office of Fair Trading.
Officers have said that if a caller is legitimate then they won’t mind people carrying out checks and getting back to them at a later date.
The Office of Fair Trading has a hotline that people can contact if they have been targeted by these computer fraudsters. It is 020 7211 8111.
The website www.northeastfraudforum.co.uk also provides freely available good advice on various scams.
To report a scam to police, call 03456 043043 ext 69191.