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Residents warned after computers hacked
7:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
WARNINGS have been issued after residents in Chelmsford have had their computers targeted by hackers.
Callers posing as Microsoft technicians have rung homes in the city saying they want to fix their computers.
Before doing this, they ask for details to be filled out on a money transfer form.
If the information is put in, then hackers can access the hardrive, meaning money can be taken from bank accounts.
The husband of one computer user targeted in Melbourne Avenue said people should be warned about these hoax calls.
The 60-year-old said: “The man then brought up a Western Union money transfer form on the screen and asked her to fill out the details.
“She knew something not quite right was going on, but then the man was able to push her off the computer and they tried to take £500 then £300 from her account.
“The next day when my wife started up her laptop, the picture on the screen was of a sheepdog with the word hacked underneath it.
“I think people need to be warned about the dangers as they are a lot of vulnerable people who use computers.”
Essex Police said residents should be wary if they receive such a phone call asking for a payment to fix a problem unaware to them.
Crime prevention officer Peter Caulfield said: “The people who carry out these bogus calls can sound very authentic and convincing. But please remember to challenge anyone who phones you unexpectedly.
“Do not agree to pay for a problem you weren’t even aware you had, or download any programs as they may contain viruses and be aware that these programs could give the caller full access to your computer.
“These scams vary and include; someone telling you there's a virus on your computer, refund of overpaid bank charges, offering a loan against prepayment, or, an inheritance from a long lost relative, to name just a few.
“The people targeted are often the elderly and vulnerable.”
Anyone who believe they have received a suspicious phone call should either call police on 101, Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go online to www.actionfraud.police.uk.