Cumbria police are warning the public to be aware of bogus telephone calls from people claiming they are from Microsoft or Windows, in order to gain access to computers.
Police have received complaints from members of the public, particularly from the Kendal area, who have received a telephone call from people claiming to be from Microsoft. They are being advised during the call that there is a virus or programme problem on their personal computer and are then talked through how to allow the caller to have remote access to their computer.
Sometimes money is asked for, but not always. Either way once people have access to your computer they can find passwords and bank details.
Microsoft has a built in system which will report any fault automatically and they will only contact you on request.
Community Safety Officer for south Cumbria Terry Belshaw, said:
“It is important to make people aware of this type of bogus call. These fraudsters can be very convincing to people who may not know a lot about computers. Don’t allow anyone you don’t trust access, remotely or otherwise, to your computer.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that they should be cautious of anyone who makes contact with them – whether it is in relation to computers, financial accounts, charities, or offers to buy/sell. No reputable company, including Microsoft, will contact you asking for your personal, financial, or technical details.
“Bogus callers can have details which may make people think that they are genuine. The only way to remain completely safe is to not engage at all. My advice is to shut down, hang up, or close the door, to anyone you do not know. It isn’t rude – it is a sensible way to keep safe.
“Anyone with any concerns should contact Cumbria Police, Trading Standards, or Action Fraud, as appropriate. If you are unsure who to contact call Cumbria Police on 101 and we can give you advice.”
If you have not reported any fault to Microsoft, then do not allow anyone to have remote access to your computer. If you are suspicious, then hang up.
Anyone who has any concerns or would like further advice can contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk