North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Titan issue computer software service fraud advice

Fri 16th, Mar

TITAN, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, are asking members of the public from across the region to be vigilant after a high number of fraudulent phone calls resulted in individuals losing large sums of money.

Fraudsters who use phone calls to target their victims can take on a number of guises, such as pretending to be from a well-known brand name. They then con them into giving out personal information, or try to gain access to a computer by installing software or visiting a particular website where they ask the victim to input personal information. Common scams include: • Receiving a phone call from ‘Microsoft Tech Support’ to fix your computer • Receiving unsolicited emails with attached security updates • Being asked for your credit card information to ‘validate your copy of Windows’ • Being told you have won the ‘Microsoft Lottery’ In one incident in Cheshire an individual was asked to pay £550 plus VAT to get lifetime support after being tricked into believing their computer was hacked into. Helen Williams, Cyber Protect Officer at Titan, said: "We've seen individuals lose thousands of pounds after falling for these scams. It's really important that you stop and think and hang up on the call. If you need further reassurance, you can always contact the firm directly to check by using phone numbers found on a legitimate source such as a contract." Computer firms warn that they do not send unsolicited emails or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer for a fee. To prevent similar incidents from taking place, Titan would like to issue the following advice: • Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer. Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and don’t give out any personal information • Computer firms tend not to send out unsolicited communication about security updates, although they do send security software updates to subscribers of the security communications program. If in doubt, don’t open the email • Microsoft does not request credit card information to validate copies of Windows. Microsoft does validate requests to download software from its website via its ‘Genuine Advantage Program’, but never asks for any personally identifying information, including credit card details • The ‘Microsoft Lottery’ does not exist – so it’s not true if you’re told you’ve won. Anyone who has lost money to a scam like this should report it to Action Fraud by calling them on 0300 123 2040 For further advice on cyber security follow @cyberprotectUK on Twitter Visit To take an online fraud test to check if you are ‘Too smart to be scammed’ visit