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Warning over 'computer firm' cold caller

PUBLISHED: 18:48 21 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:44 06 July 2010

POLICE have renewed warnings to beware when dealing with telephone cold-callers after a 73-year-old Lowestoft woman granted a man remote access to her home computer.

POLICE have renewed warnings to beware when dealing with telephone cold-callers after a 73-year-old Lowestoft woman granted a man remote access to her home computer.

About 9pm on Thursday, June 17, the woman received a telephone call from a man purporting to work for a computer company who said her home PC was about to crash and that he could fix it for her free of charge.

The woman read out a number to the man and the man appeared to start doing something with her computer remotely. A short time later they said he had finished but now needed paying. The woman then gave out her credit card details, including the security number on the back.

The incident was reported to police the next morning and this is believed to be a scam to get her card details.

A woman in Ipswich is believed to have been targeted in a similar way earlier this year. She received a call from a man claiming to be from a legitimate TV broadcasting company who said that her computer had been identified as having a virus. He then asked her to visit a website and enter a code. The man then appeared to take over control of the computer and demanded a payment for work. The woman initially refused and the man said her would call back. In the meantime the woman called the TV broadcasting company and found this was a hoax. The man called back moments later and she refused to pay and hung up.

Police are investigating both incidents, but both appear to be national scams.

Officers are again urging residents to be extremely cautious when dealing with any cold callers.

They are warning that no-one should give out personal information, particularly bank or card details, or any other information that could be used to gain access to your accounts.

If you have doubts about who has called take their name and number and say you will phone them back. Then find a number for the company (check literature they have sent you if you are a customer of theirs) and call them back on this number to check the person is who they claim to be. Never agree to have any work done without first getting quotes from several legitimate companies and do not hesitate to hang up if you are suspicious.

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