A spate of phone-hacking scams from computer hackers have been launched in West Yorkshire.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards is warning consumers to be extra wary after the service received a steady stream of complaints involving suspicious calls from overseas phone numbers from an unidentified source.
The scam is initiated by a phone call to an unsuspecting householder. The caller claims to be from an online software or internet provider and that they have identified a problem with the householder’s computer or internet connection. The scammer then attempts to obtain the user’s account details by saying that in order to rectify the fault they will need to perform some software upgrades. The intention is to gain access to secure information such as bank details that would normally be password protected.
In one recent example a man was targeted several times in the same evening, despite telling the caller “they knew what was going on and not to call back”.
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire trading standards, said, ”Although the vast majority of people will see this type of scam for exactly what it is, some may well be panicked into believing their computer has picked up a serious computer virus which needs urgent attention.
“The scammers work on the basis that they may have to contact many people to find just one victim, but often when they do their unscrupulous efforts pay off.”
Coun Neil Taggart, chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, said: “I would urge people to share this information with friends and relatives, particularly vulnerable or older members of the community.
“It is known that scammers will often target their victims and in this instance take advantage of those who may only have a limited understanding of new technology.”