Computer scammers on the prowl again

AN Islandmagee woman who was targeted in a computer scam has urged local people to remain vigilant.

Pauline Martin received an unsolicited phone call from a man with an Indian accent last Wednesday morning. The caller claimed to be working for a company called Independent Computer Service.

The man told Pauline that he wanted to help her fix a virus on her computer, but she was immediately suspicious of his intentions, having been targeted by a similar scam earlier this year.

She told the Times: “About three or four months ago, I received a similar call from a man claiming to be from Microsoft, warning me that my computer was infected with a virus and had to be fixed urgently.

“He wanted me to switch on my computer so he could install new security software.

“Thankfully, I remembered reading in the Larne Times that there was a scam doing the rounds, whereby the victim would pay a large sum of money for new security software over the phone, which would then cause the computer to crash.

“I told the person I wasn’t interested and hung up, but I have heard about other people who have been taken in by these fraudsters and have lost about £100.

“When they phoned me again this week, I knew straight away that it was a hoax

“I think the caller realised that I was on to him and he hung up.

“I want other people to be on their guard against these scammers. Just hang up the phone as soon as they start talking and don’t be taken in,” Pauline added.

Last May and June, the Times reported that similar scams had been taking place in Larne, Ballygally and Islandmagee, with one victim losing out on £222.