Protect yourself against bogus “virus” claims

A man looks at a computer screen showing the FTSE 100 share index at the close of trading in London, on September 30, 2008. The FTSE regained 1.74% Tuesday gaining 83.68 points. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at a computer screen showing the FTSE 100 share index at the close of trading in London, on September 30, 2008. The FTSE regained 1.74% Tuesday gaining 83.68 points. AFP PHOTO/Shaun Curry (Photo credit should read SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

TELEPHONE fraudsters have targeted several East Dunbartonshire families in a bid to hack into their computers.

The bogus callers claim to be Microsoft employees, say the householder’s computer has been infected with viruses and tell them to visit a special Internet site.

Those who fall for the scam see their computer taken over by the crooks who then steal private information.

One worried resident told the Herald: “They say the computer is under a severe risk from viruses and that if we don’t go on our computer now we will never be able to use our computer again.

“We’ve had two phone calls in the past two days from an Indian gentleman claiming his name is ‘James Anderton’, then when asked his name again it becomes ‘James Anderson’.

“This will be our sixth phone call in roughly three weeks and we know of at least one other family that has been targeted. Our fear is they will target other people who may not have the sense to say no or to hang up.”

Police have received dozens of calls about the crime, which first arose at the start of this year.

Constable Siobhan McCandlish said: “We are aware of this ongoing scam and we would urge anyone who receives a call like this to terminate it and not engage with the person.

“They take control of computers and ask for credit card payments to be made when people have obeyed their instructions.

“We would also advise anyone who has fallen foul of this scam to have their computer checked for possible spyware, which could have been installed on their system.”

Meanwhile, East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards officers are warning people to be on their guard against reps from companies offering solar panels and energy-saving installations.