Computer virus fraud warning for Wakefield residents

29th september 2011' Old people across the district are getting ripped off by con-artists ringing them claiming to work for Microsoft. ' 'Pictured: Stuart Ward of Wabsys'''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
29th september 2011' Old people across the district are getting ripped off by con-artists ringing them claiming to work for Microsoft. ' 'Pictured: Stuart Ward of Wabsys'''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

FRAUDSTERS are leaving elderly people across the city with computer viruses and hefty repair bills.

Pensioners have reported getting telephone calls from people claiming to be Microsoft employees who have identified faults with their computers.

The con artists then offer bogus advice over the phone, tricking their victim into allowing them access to personal files.

They then demand money for carrying out a “repair” when they have really just infected their victim’s computer with a virus.

Computer repair experts say they have been receiving up to 30 infected systems a month all of which have been victims of the scam.

Stuart Ward, of Wabsys, in Horbury Bridge, said most of these customers required repairs costing at least £65.

He said: “These scammers are leaving behind what can only be described as a ‘bomb’ which disables much of the victim’s computer. The damage is quite extensive.

“They are very convincing and persistent and if the victim refuses to pay then they make sure they will have to fork out for repairs.

“It is a really big problem in this area at the moment.”

An Ossett pensioner, who did not want to be named, said she had been easily led because her computer had recently not been working properly.

She said: “The man said he would try and help me but half way through I realised it was a scam. By this point he had hacked it completely.”

David Lodge, of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Allowing someone remote access to a computer could leave personal details exposed.

“These scams are always going round and our advice is to treat any calls received out of the blue with suspicion.”