Members of the public are being urged to be on their guard after multiple hoax calls were made by scammers in the Warwickshire area.
Police said they have been alerted to several reports of fake calls, where the scammer claimed to be an employee from either BT or TalkTalk to inform potential victims that they had a virus on their computers, or were due a refund.
Incidents have been reported in the Harbury and Alcester areas in Warwickshire and Malvern in Worcestershire over the past week.
The first incident involved an elderly lady in her 80s. She received a call supposedly from Talk-Talk who advised her that they needed to download some software on to her computer and obtained their personal information.
They were on the phone for approximately an hour and a half and advised her that she was owed a refund and this is why they needed her bank details.
The second reported incident also involved a call from someone claiming to be from Talk-Talk, who accessed the victim’s laptop as they claimed the victim was owed £200.
The victim realised later on and the offenders had attempted to take money from the victim’s bank accounts. Fortunately on this occasion, the bank has blocked money transfer.
Another hoax call was made in the area from someone claiming to be from BT. The scammer accessed the victim’s laptop as they claimed the victim had multiple hacks on the account and requested they transfer £750 to help ambush the hackers.
At this point the victim realised the report was false, did not transfer the money and instead contacted police.
Officers have warned that the scammers will make repeated attempts to gain access to computers by asking potential victims to input codes to target ‘infected’ files. The may also request account details.
And police have issued the following useful advice on how members of the public can protect themselves:
• Do not allow remote access to your computer.
• Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.
• Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
• BT, Microsoft, other computer companies or someone on their behalf will never call you.
TalkTalk have also said they will NEVER:
• Ask for your bank details to process a refund. If you are ever due a refund from them, they would only be able to process this if your bank details are already registered on their systems.
• Call you and ask you to download software onto your computer, unless you have previously contacted TalkTalk, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place.
• Send you emails asking you to provide your full password. They will only ever ask for two digits from it to protect your security.
It is also a good idea to contact the company who the fraudulent caller claims to be from, especially if this is a bank. Police urge anyone who receives similar calls to dial 101 and report them.