Sussex residents warned about increase in computer software service fraud
Police are warning residents to be vigilant after a rise in cases of computer software service fraud in Sussex, especially among vulnerable victims.
Since the start of the year, there have been 122 reports made to Sussex Police of computer software service fraud.
Police said many of the victims have been women over the age of 75.
Of these 122 reports, 46 victims unfortunately suffered a loss of an average of £5,082. This then amounts to a combined loss of £233,760.
Police said common scenarios also include callers pretending to be from reputable organisations.
One victim aged 82, received a call from someone claiming to be from BT Engineering who said her internet connection was no longer secure and needed fixing.
As she had been experiencing issues with her internet connection, she believed this was a genuine call.
The caller then stated that they needed to access her computer remotely and began downloading some software onto the device.
Police said the fraudster stated that he could see that the ‘hackers’ had tried to access her online banking and that he could prevent this as he had already caught several of these criminals in the past.
After saying that he had downloaded some security software to her device, the victim became suspicious and noticed that £14,000 had been illegally withdrawn from her account.
Local officers have responded and provided support to the victim.
Sussex Police said to protect yourself or someone you know from becoming a victim of fraud, consider the following key tips:
* If you receive a call like this hang up. Take Five and verify the call via a trusted method, not the numbers given in the call.
* Never allow anyone to remotely access your computer
* Do not download software on the request of a phone caller
* A genuine service provider will never call you out of the blue regarding issues with your computer or broadband.
* Microsoft will not request your banking information or personal details to validate Windows software on your devices.
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud call Sussex Police on 101 or visit the website.
Report fraud or attempted fraud, by contacting Action fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.