Beware of computer fraudsters

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NORTHUMBERLAND Trading Standards is again warning residents to stay on their guard against computer fraudsters.

Users have been receiving calls from companies, often based abroad, who say they have been made aware of a fault by the computer’s operating system.

They offer to repair this by accessing the computer remotely, which can lead to disclosure of personal passwords and any other security protection.

Business and Consumer Protection Manager Jimmy Power said: “Over the past year we have issued warnings to residents that these calls were being made, but there appears to be a spate of new calls being made to consumers who are being asked for payment up to £144.

“Consumers should be particularly concerned when they receive these types of calls because they are likely to be fraudulent. Scammers will often focus on the caller by trying to scare them into parting with money.

“Do not respond to these calls and we would advise that you seek professional computer guidance.”

County Executive Member for Health and Public Protection Anita Romer added: “We cannot stress enough that people must never give their bank details or allow companies who cold call to have access to their computers which hold personal data.”

If you think you have received or been victim to a hoax email or phone call, telephone Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.