Our View: Don't fall victim to hi-tech scams

By Editorial

It was a case of the right place at the right time for a local computer technician when cyber criminals tried to scam a Bay woman.
Martin Beveridge was visiting his 76-year-old mother recently when a scammer pretending to be from Microsoft called claiming there was a virus on her computer.
These scammers operate by saying they are official Microsoft staff and they need to run a scan on their victim's computer. This "scan" is actually a virus that needs fixing.
The scammers then offer to repair the computer - all they need is the computer owner's credit card details. A likely story.
These fraudsters sound convincing and take advantage of those that aren't always the most computer savvy.
For Mr Beveridge, a Need a Nerd technician, this cold-call immediately set off warning bells. He confronted the caller, saving his mum not only from a damaging computer virus but also the potential loss of large amounts of money.
It is an all too common situation and fortunately on this occasion no one was duped.
But it is astounding the number of people who still get deceived.
A Tauranga man who was too embarrassed to be named lost $280 after scammers called him at home. The scammer didn't ask for his credit card details, instead asked him to set up an online Paypal account making it sound legitimate.
But no software company will ever call you out of the blue and ask to repair your computer. No company, not even your bank, will ask for your credit card details or payment on an unsolicited call.

It is easy to feel pressured over the phone but the simple solution is to hang up immediately.
In this technological era, everyone must keep informed of the current scams doing the rounds.
People must take responsibility to be aware of the risks of owning a computer and share that knowledge with those more vulnerable to scams. There really is no excuse to fall victim to a computer scam.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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