This article was published on February 8, 2013 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Lincolnshire Police are warning residents of a phone scam regarding computers.
The scammers are contacting members of the public by telephone stating that they have a virus on their computer or that they are due an upgrade on their software.
Once the scammer engages with the member of the public they will try to convince them that they need urgent attention to their computer. At this stage they will either ask for a sum of money to perform the upgrade or will try to get the call receiver to click on a website that infects the computer.
Gill Finn, Community Safety Officer at Lincolnshire Police states, “Although this scam has been around for period of time, we are still getting members the public who are not only still receiving the calls but also falling prey to the scam. Once your computer is infected, it will be a trip to the local computer shop at cost to remove any virus or encrypted data. You will possibly lose any personal data such as photos or files”.
What to do if you are targeted?
If you receive a phonecall of this nature, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY.
The easiest way to avoid putting yourself at risk is simply REPLACE the telephone receiver and DO NOT enter into any conversation with the individual. Once a criminal knows that you will enter into conversation, they will sell your details to other scammers or third parties. This means that you will be constantly targeted over a period of time.
DO NOT follow any links to websites, these will most certainly be a ploy to gain access to your computer via download.
If a computer scammer has targeted you to view any websites, please TURN OFF your computer IMMEDIATELY and ask a trusted source to check your operating system to see if it has been infected.
To report or gain further details on current scams, please contact Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk or ring 0300 123 2040.