Surrey residents warned about increase in computer software service fraud
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Police are warning residents to be vigilant after a rise in cases of computer software service fraud in Surrey, especially among vulnerable victims.
Since the start of the year, there have been 76 reports made to Surrey Police of computer software service fraud. Many of the victims have been women over the age of 75.
Of these 76 reports, 34 victims unfortunately suffered a loss of an average of £4,460. This then amounts to a staggering combined loss of £151,640.
Common scenarios also include callers pretending to be from reputable organisations. One victim aged 73, received a call on her landline from a person telling her that her Virgin Media internet router needed changing. As she had been having problems with the router, the call seemed legitimate and when the caller asked for her bank details and a copy of her driving license, she handed them over. The victim later found out that over £2,000 had been taken from her bank by the scammers.
Another victim, 88, received a call from someone claiming to work for BT who needed to gain access to his computer. Fortunately, he realised that this did not add up and did not hand over any details to the fraudster.
Local officers have responded to the reports mentioned here and provided support to victims.
To protect yourself or someone you know from becoming a victim of fraud, consider the following key tips:
- If you receive a call like this hang up. Take Five and verify the call via a trusted method, not the numbers given in the call.
- Never allow anyone to remotely access your computer
- Do not download software on the request of a phone caller
- A genuine service provider will never call you out of the blue regarding issues with your computer or broadband.
- Microsoft will not request your banking information or personal details to validate Windows software on your devices.
Please pass this advice onto your loved ones, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud call: