Beware cold call broadband and search engine provider scam

Police are appealing for the public to be alert after reports of fraud involving scammers phoning the public claiming to be from computer broadband and search engine providers. Over the past weekend there have been cases where separate victims lost £25,000 and £14,000 as a result of this.

What has happened

The scammers contact their intended victims by telephone warning that their online bank accounts have been hacked or there is a problem with their wireless router or broadband speed.

Typically the victim then gives the scammer remote access to their computer to fix the issue.

Once the scammer is into the computer and personal details are given by the victim, online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost - money they may never get back.

What you should do

You should:

  • always be wary of anyone that cold calls you
  • don’t allow any cold caller remote access to your computer
  • be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information over the telephone
  • if you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is claiming to represent to check their authenticity - ideally make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line
  • never be pressured into a transaction over the phone
  • never give your personal and banking details to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them through your computer

If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please:

  • report it online to Action Fraud  or by phoning 0300 123 2040 or
  • call police on the non-emergency number 101

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