Warning over scammers targeting homes and businesses

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Police are urging people to be on their guard against a suspected scam targeting householders, businesses and public sector organisations.

Those involved contact call people pretending to be from Microsoft. They tell the person that they have a problem with their computer and they need to download a piece of software to fix it.

They then ask for £8 but the software that is installed gives them access to the computer and the £8 transfer allows access to the person’s financial details.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Smith of the Regional Cyber Crime Unit, said: “We have seen suspected scams like this before. Those involved, can operate from overseas, have even targeted people before and is a well-known method to defraud people and obtain personal information.

“So far we haven’t had any specific reports of people having fallen victim but we know from experience that these operations tend to target lots of people in a particular area.

“It is important that people know of the risks out there so they can take appropriate action to reduce their chances of being a victim.

“I would urge people not to take any unsolicited calls on face value and always check the company / caller by calling an independent land line sourced by yourself. Never call anyone back on the number provide by the caller as this is likely to be false. Never download software as a result of a call like this as it is likely to be a scam. Always check independently the caller is who they say they are. By taking this simple steps you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

“If you are in any doubt then don’t take the risk.”