Computer problem cold-calling scam
The police are warning that scammers have been cold calling potential victims, claiming to be from Microsoft. You should treat these calls as potential scams and hang up immediately.
What has happened
The scammers telephone out of the blue and claim there's a problem with your computer.
They can fix this remotely for free and you will be asked to download remote access software, and if you do, they will have full access to your computer and any information held on it.
The caller claiming to be a ‘Microsoft representative’ will tell you the issue has been resolved and offer you compensation for your poor customer experience. In some cases, this has been as much as £350.
You might even be transferred to one of their colleagues in the ‘refund/ finance department’.
The only issue, this department will tell you, is that the minimum amount they can transfer is £4,000. To resolve this, they will send you that amount, you will keep £350 and wire them back £3,650 using a reputable service.
The criminals may even show you an electronic receipt of a successful bank transfer.
Unfortunately some victims have believed this to be genuine and have lost a lot of money and personal details from their computer.
What you should do
If you get a call like this:
- hang up immediately
- block the number from contacting you again
- report the scam to Action Fraud online or by phone on 0300 123 2040
If you feel that there is a problem with your computer, seek professional and trustworthy advice yourself.