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Chesterfield man cheated by computer fraudsters

Posted on 25th September 2013

Derbyshire police are warning the public to be extra vigilant against computer software fraud after a man paid out to suspected fraudsters in Old Whittington, Chesterfield.

The 70-year-old victim was contacted on Friday September 20 and was told that his computer would crash unless he paid the fees to fix it.

The fraudster, who claimed to be fronting a company registered with Microsoft, was given card details by the victim who paid £165 to the suspected criminals to clear the virus on his system.

Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit has expressed concern about the recent and significant rise in computer virus and software service fraud.

There were 151 reported cases in Derbyshire from January to June this year.

Detective Inspector King said: “Typically, fraudsters are ‘cold calling’ members of the public professing to belong to a recognised software company.

“The offenders direct the individual to a web site where they can take control of the computer and download viruses.

“The fraudsters are often the only ones that have the capability to remove the virus and charge a premium rate to do so, in some cases up to £200.

“There are some simple but effective steps that we can all take to prevent ourselves from becoming victims of computer fraud.

“This includes not disclosing personal information to organisations or people before verifying their credentials and ensuring that your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and firewall” 

Other prevention advice includes:

  • Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
  • Many frauds start with a phishing email and many look genuine. Remember that banks and financial institutions would never send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Contact your bank directly if you are unsure.
  • Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.

If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to discuss your situation with their specialist fraud advisers.

To report a fraud call 0300 123 2040 or alternatively, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.