Scammers still hitting Crow Country

COMPUTER fraudsters are still hitting Crow Country, with three more attempted scams occuring in the area during the past week.

Clive Close of Therfield, has received three calls in the last two weeks from a company claiming to be Microsoft, who informed him his computer was running slowly, and asked for security details.

Days later, residents of Royston and Bassingbourn who didn’t want to be named, were almost duped by a similar call, with one using their cunning to outwit the caller, and the other coming close to losing out on thousands.

In August, The Crow reported how four people had taken their computer into Jazz Computers in Royston, after they had lost �1,200 each, after receiving calls from the ‘Microsoft’ company.

Mr Close said: “I received the first call about ten days ago from a company claiming to be Microsoft, who told me my computer was running slowly. How they knew that, I don’t know.

“The lady asked me if I could go to my computer and turn it on. I basically told them it wasn’t a convenient time, but she kept on pestering me until I told her I will be on it later, and they could call back.

“They have since rung twice more but I didn’t go on my computer when they asked me to. They knew my name every time they rang up. When I told them they were trying to scam me they became defensive and denied it.”

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Another Royston resident received the same call last week (Friday 22 October), and took things one stage further.

They said: “I asked the caller why they wanted me to turn my computer on, and they said it was because it was running a bit slow. I told them I work in computers, and pretended to act panicked.

“When they believed this, they said they would talk me through what to do. I pretended to be going through their instructions, and eventually they told me they could see my computer was infected, and that I had to install something.

“I turned my machine on later that day and it was absolutely fine.”

The Bassingbourn resident who received the same call this week (Monday 25) was seconds away from being swindled. She said: “I had reported problems with my computer lately, so I thought it was a company returning my call.

“They talked me through what to do and something came up saying I had viruses. When they said I needed to provide bank details I knew something was up, and I ended the call.

“I eventually got my brother to have a look at it, and he found that nothing was wrong.”

As well as the originally reported computer scams, Mrs Sue Rattenbury-Reynolds of Melbourn received the same Microsoft call back in August, even though she does not own a computer.

Also, Mr and Mrs Batt from Royston received calls from a ‘government agency’ in July, asking for bank details.

Two weeks ago, former Crow photographer Neville Chuck had his email address hacked into.

A Herts Police spokesman said: “We would always advise people to try and check out the full details of what is being offered to them before signing up and handing over their full name, bank details, addresses or phone numbers.

“If people are still not sure about the validity of the company then they should not go ahead.

“Remember if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

“If you believe you are a victim of fraud or would like to report suspicious activity then please call Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre on 0300 123 2040.”