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Scams and Hoaxes

Most of us don't need reminding that there are plenty of people out there who prey on others for their money.

Unscrupulous door to door handymen who will do a top job of fixing things and then disappear for good after completing a shoddy job, email contacts who have at their disposal large sums of money they need to get rid of to people worldwide who are willing to divulge bank account or credit card details and lately computer representatives who are willing to de-bug your computer of dangerous viruses that are creating havoc in systems worldwide.

The latest comes in the form of a phone call and is currently doing the rounds of Bannockburn - even to unlisted numbers.

The caller from overseas knew my name and address and said that my computer was identified as sending out corrupted messages, etc, and that they had been contracted by Microsoft to let people know about these problems.

I asked him what my email address was, what operating system I was using, how did he get my info (he said from Microsoft). A long dialogue followed (and he was reasonably forceful) about me looking within my computer and identifying and seeing certain error messages. He was then going to put me through to a supervisor who could help me fix it. I asked him to call back, and he did! But in the meantime I googled and found this scam has been going for about 2 years.

They try to do 2 things .... either the supervisor will suggest a payment by credit card to update and patch your security software, OR they will ask you to log in to a website, and they can then access all of your computer information.

So beware ... if you are contacted seek out a local person you can trust and have the matter checked out that way.