Computer scam foiled by Kirkintilloch computer buff

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RESIDENTS are being warned to be on their guard for hi-tech swindlers.

Barry Grant, from Kirkintilloch, got a phone call from a man claiming to work for Microsoft, who told him files on his computer were infected with a virus.

However, the scammer soon hung-up on Mr Grant, who runs his own computer repair company, when he found out he was talking to an IT expert.

Three weeks later the scammer targeted Mr Grant’s dad, William, but again was forced to hang-up when the 65-year-old told him he did not own a computer.

Barry said: “I knew straight away it was a con when he said it was in the hard drive. That’s not terminology you would use, but people will panic and think they need to get it fixed.

“They are preying on people’s lack of knowledge about computers and I am concerned people could become victims without realising.

“I knew straight away but other people might not.”

Last month the police received over 100 calls from residents who had been targeted by the scam, which encourages people to visit so the scammer can take control of their computer.

Police say the scam is being carried out by a criminal gang in Asia who are trying to obtain passwords and bank details.

A spokesperson for Kirkintilloch Police Office 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 caller, as they have taken control of computers and asked for card payments to be made when people have followed 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 systems.”

Anyone who has been a victim of the computer scam can contact Kirkintilloch Police Office on 0141 532 4400.