A MONTROSE woman is warning computer owners to be on their guard after a relative was duped out of £150 by a telephone scam.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said the con was similar to one which affected people in the local area more than a year ago.
Her relative received a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft’s technical support team offering to fix a fault on her computer and asking for payment.
She said: “She was on the ‘phone for about two hours. They asked if she could switch on her desktop computer and put it through a certain procedure. They even had her putting a disc into the laptop which belonged to the desktop. At that point she told them she had an appointment and had to go, so they supplied a ‘phone number and an e-mail address that she was supposed to contact.
“When she told me about it initially I told her that she had been scammed but I ‘phoned back later to ask if she had given them money and she said yes. She didn’t want to say anything at the time because she felt enough of a fool. She stopped the transfer, which had been converted into rupees, and got her bank details changed.
“Her computer won’t be going back on again either and she’ll be getting a new one”.
The woman said her daughter and a second friend had been contacted and she suspects scamm-ers are working their way through Montrose ‘phone numbers.
She said: “The one who called my daughter got angry when she said she was fully covered and up to date with virus protection, etc.
“The just have a way of talking to people that sounds very convincing and it just takes you in.”
As Angus Council spokeswoman said the authority’s trading standards officers are aware of the scam, which has been around for some time, and warned against allowing access to computer or supplying personal details.
She said: “The caller pretends to be from Microsoft and states that you have or are at risk of computer viruses and asks to access your computer to add anti-virus software. Once they have control of your computer all of your files can be copied, including personal information. They will then take a payment by credit card for their services. Microsoft do not cold call computer users.
“Our advice is that if anyone receives such a call, they should not allow any access to their computer or give out any personal information or credit card details.”
Further assistance or advice is available by contacting trading standards through the council’s ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778.