Telephone ‘technical support’ scammers appear to the targeting the Tamworth area again.
We have received a number of emails over the last few days from concerned readers who have either been targeted themselves or know someone who has by these criminals. Although this is an issue nationally it appears that the fraudsters may currently be at the ‘01827’ section of the phone book!
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
- Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person
If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
- Change your computer’s password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
- Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
- Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)
What is being done about this?
The UK government has launched a campaign to change the way people protect themselves while shopping, banking or socialising online in order to avoid falling victim to cyber criminals
The ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign aims to change the way people view online safety and provide people with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their cyber security.
The website, www.cyberstreetwise.com offers a range of interactive resources, tailoring an individual’s visit to provide clear advice on the essentials for enjoying a safe experience online.
The launch of the campaign is part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme and comes at a time when an increasing number of people use the web on laptops, tablets and smartphones.
The Cyber Streetwise campaign underlines that safety precautions taken in the real world have similar relevance in the virtual world. Research shows that shoppers don’t adopt the same behaviours when shopping online as contrasted with shopping on the High Street. A person wouldn’t walk around with their bag open or wallet on show, yet when shopping online due to the speed of technology, people can be open to unnecessary risk if they aren’t careful when using their credit card.
By adopting a few simple online behaviours will make you and your family safer, such as:
- Using strong, memorable passwords
- Installing anti-virus software on new devices
- Checking privacy settings on social media
- Shopping safely online – always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure
- Downloading software and application patches when prompted
Security Minister James Brokenshire said: ‘The internet has radically changed the way we work and socialise. It has created a wealth of opportunities, but with these opportunities there are also threats. As a government we are taking the fight to cyber criminals wherever they are in the world.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool