Computer scammers trick more than £500 out of Malvern victim

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SCAMMERS managed to con more than £500 from a victim through a home computer.

The victim, who lives in Malvern, was downloading Microsoft Office onto his IMac when a pop up message claiming the computer had a virus and needed anti virus software installed.

Several telephone calls were received from a man “with an Indian sounding accent” who told the victim that he could buy a lifetime cover anti virus for £549.99 but would need to set up a Paypal account as he did not accept cheques or bank transfers.

Unfortunately, the victim transferred the money and received an email from Paypal with an invoice attached which contained the email address

Shortly after, he received a second email from asking him to confirm his email address.

The victim has also been receiving phone calls from the man asking him to go to the post office.

The scam took place between Tuesday, August 30 and Tuesday, September 13.

West Mercia Police has sent out the following advice:

From bogus “Computer Software Tech Support” phone calls to “validate your software?” there are a number of computer software service scams you need to look out for.

Fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit their crime, as it makes their communication with you seem more legitimate.

This is why it’s important to think twice before giving out any personal information.

Common scams that use the brand names include:

* Receiving a phone call from “Microsoft Tech Support” to fix your computer.

* Receiving unsolicited emails with attached security updates.

* Being asked for your credit card information to “validate your copy of Windows”.

* Being told you have won the “Microsoft Lottery”.

Computer firms warn that they do not send unsolicited emails or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer.

They advise anyone who receives such communication to delete the email or hang up the phone

If further assurance is needed individuals can contact the firm directly using the phone numbers obtained from their contract or other trusted sources.

Anyone who has lost money to a scam like this should report it to Action Fraud.

Advice to avoid Computer Software Service scams

* Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and don’t give out any personal information.

* Computer firms tend not to send out unsolicited communication about security updates, although they do send security software updates to subscribers of the security communications program. If in doubt, don’t open the email.

* Microsoft does not request credit card information to validate copies of Windows. Microsoft does validate requests to download software from its website via its “Genuine Advantage Program”, but never asks for any personally identifying information, including credit card details.

* The “Microsoft Lottery” does not exist so it’s not true if you’re told you’ve won.

* Protect yourself, for further information go to the Action Fraud website which contains an A-Z of the various frauds, scams and is packed with Crime Prevention advice.

* To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, if you have been a victim of fraud please also report this on 101

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