Software Scam

Following on from our previous post, here is an interesting article taken from the Dorset Echo, Tuesday 2nd August 2011, By Joanna Davis.

PENSIONERS are being warned about a phone scam which tricks people into believing they have a virus on their computer.

Yvonne Griffiths, 65, was targeted by scammers who tried to urge her to buy £109 of bogus anti-virus software.

The retired Osmington resident said she has received six phone calls in three days telling her to turn her computer on because it has a fault.

In total, she says she has received at least 20 calls from people who say they are calling from the Microsoft Technical Department.

She added that the people at the other end of the phone are ‘bullying, persistent and intimidating’ and is worried more vulnerable and elderly people could fall prey to the con.

Mrs Griffiths said: “They start off by saying ‘your computer is showing errors.’ “The first chap I spoke to was very bullying and started to get abusive and would swear.

“He kept saying ‘I’m going to help you with your computer’ and was asking me to turn my computer on.”

Mrs Griffiths said her sister Pamela Warner, who lives in Orpington, Kent, was scammed by the same tricksters.

She said: “Pamela was scammed earlier this year and rang up to tell me about it. They took £109 off her card for an ant-virus programme which she never received and the money went straight out of her account to an account in Cyprus.”

Mrs Griffiths said she reported the calls to BT but they told her there was nothing they could do.

She added: “The scammers are very bullying and very persistent. This chap was so abusive and it was very upsetting because he was shouting and it wasn’t very nice.

“I want to warn people about this, especially because vulnerable people could be very intimidated.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said reports have been received about victims receiving telephone calls or emails from fraudsters claiming to be from a major computer company claiming that the victim has a problem with their computer and offering to fix the problem remotely for a fee.

She added: “The fraudsters normally charge in the region of £100 to £150, with the victim agreeing to pay by debit or credit card. However, the victim’s computer does not get fixed and they never hear from the supposed computer repair person again.

“Dorset Police would advise members of the public not to agree to pay for services from people that they are not 100 per cent certain are genuine. If you have any doubt, do not part with your money.”

Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, said they want to hear if people get ripped off or scammed.

A spokesman said: “Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.

“Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism.”

Anyone who has been defrauded by this scam or another scam should call 0300 123 2040 or report it online at


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