Computer cold calling scams – some advice from the gardaí
Gardaí have become aware of a scam involving fraudulent calls being made to members of the public.
The scenario works like this:
You the owner of a computer receive an uninvited call from a call centre abroad. The number calling may appear to be from an Irish number and the caller may use your name.
The caller asks if you have a PC in the house. The caller then claims that they are calling on behalf of well known computer companies and will check your computer for problems.
The caller then asks you to look at the Windows Event Log. They then try to persuade you that any alerts recorded there are a result of virus activity and that it urgently needs to be fixed.
The caller then talks you through granting them remote access to the PC. This allows them full control of the computer. They then run a scan and charge a sum of money for the service. They will take payment by credit card and may charge a further amount for an extended service.
The owner of the PC:
- Has granted full control of their PC to someone they don’t know.
- May also have given their credit card details to someone they don’t know.
- May be exposed to potential loss of personal data and/or financial loss.
Advice to those who may be subjected to this scam
- If members of the public require a service to be performed on their computers they should seek out a reputable company to provide it.
Advice to those who have been subjected to this scam
- Any members of the public who may have given full PC access to a cold-caller should have the compter inspected by a reputable service centre.
- Any members of the public who have given credit card details to a cold-caller should contact their financial institution for advice.
- Be extremely sceptical of any un-invited call received and do not rely on phoning back the number to verify authenticity.
- If you have any suspicions regarding the call contact your local Garda Station.
- Additional crime prevention advice relating to computer fraud can be found on the Garda website www.garda.ie.