computer users - digital safety (pic by JISC)

An IT expert in Nantwich has warned computer users in the town about a phone scam targeting the area.

Phil Chapman, of Bliss Computers, came across the scam while fixing a pc at a customer’s house in the town.

And it’s feared the company behind it, who don’t reveal contact address, is going through a directory contacting hundreds of unsuspecting users.

Phil, based on Pillory Street, said: “It actually happened recently while I was on-site at a customer’s house in Nantwich.

“The phone rings and a voice in broken English asks you if you have a computer.

“They then say the computer has errors on it and that this person represents a company involved with Microsoft and they would like to show me an example of the errors.

“The user is presented with a list of files showing prominent Yellow and Red warning signs that to everyone outside the industry looks pretty convincing. In fact these are not as bad as they look most show program calls to software that may not even be installed.

“Event Viewer system logs display prominent ‘Error’ icons, which often relate to trivial matters like the failure of a process to start, but could be used by a scammer to convince someone their computer needs ‘fixing’ by running a script.

“Pretty much every Windows machine on the planet boots up with this no matter how good the IT department.”

The company then requests payment of £250 over the phone to fix the problems, which Phil warned everyone not to pay.

“This scam was first noticed by ourselves early 2010 and traced to Latvia, this new scam seems to be run from India or Pakistan but seems to be harder to track.

“The golden rule is if they do not have a physical trading address locally where you can complain, be wary.

“If in doubt ring up a relation, friend or even your local reputable computer shop for advice but don’t under any circumstances give them any money over the phone.”

(Pic courtesy of JISC)

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