BUTE appears to be the target of choice this week for a suspected computer scam from a person or group claiming to be from Windows Support.
Two readers, Evelyn Chisholm and Angela Haggerty, told us on the afternoon of Thursday, April 7 that they had just received a telephone call to their landline from a gentleman with an Indian accent claiming to be from “the technical team of Windows Support Group”.
Angela said she had been contacted by a caller saying his name was Nick Anderson.
“He told my my computer had been sending out ‘warning signals’ and that it has a virus on it,” Angela told us.
“He then tried to tell me to follow a load of steps on my computer that would help, which I didn’t do, and eventually I hung up after asking him a load of questions to which every reply was: ‘I am from Windows support and your computer is sending out warning signals, it is my job to help you with this.’
“I don’t know exactly what the scam is,” Angela continued, “but he did keep asking me what my address was and for my postcode, which I didn’t give.”
Angela then carried out a web search for ‘Windows Support Group scam’, and found an entry on the personal finance blog MoneyWatch reporting more than a hundred responses since it published an item on the scam in June 2010.
The MoneyWatch article reports that in some cases the callers may actually be installing software known as ‘spyware’ which could potentially open up the computer’s owner to wider ID and bank fraud.
If you have been taken in and parted with money as a result of the scam, the best advice is to contact your card issuer and have the transaction reversed, report the matter to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, and report the matter to police in order to register a crime number.
If you’re targeted by such a call, the best course of action is to put the phone down – or you could string them along, without giving anything away of course, and make sure they at least get hit with a bigger phone bill!