News

Suspicious call worries Peninsula woman

A Peninsula woman is warning residents to be wary of a possible phone scam, after she was called by someone who told of “a malicious virus” that could be in her computer.

Lisa Green told Peace Arch News she received the call last month. It came from a man purporting to be a Windows XP technician.

After telling Green her computer was possibly infected, the caller tried to convince her to download a program to fix it. She declined.

Green said the call sounded legitimate at first, but alarm bells soon started going off.

“I look for the best in people, and they’re very, very convincing,” she said. “But then I started thinking – does any service provider ever call you? What am I downloading?

“If he had not have said a few things out of the ordinary, I may well have gone along with it.”

Green is worried that others in the area – especially seniors who are perhaps not computer-savvy – will be duped into downloading the program, which could allow access to their personal details, including financial information.

When Green asked for contact information so she could verify the legitimacy of the company, she was directed to a Calgary phone number.

No one answered the phone at that number when contacted by the Peace Arch News.

Green is not the only one raising alarm bells.

David Anderson, of Technically Yours Computer Services in White Rock, said he recently “ripped into” someone who tried the same scare tactics with him twice in one week.

Anderson said he has heard from at least six others who have related a similar experience, including one who admitted to being taken in.

Anderson said the “fairly convincing” caller is trying to frighten people into downloading remote-viewing software that will give the caller access to the computer. He then tells of errors and tries to sell them a “certified software warranty.”

“He is totally bogus,” Anderson said.

The best thing to do to avoid being scammed is to hang up, he noted.

 

“Just immediately hang up and do not deal with it at all.”

- with files from Tracy Holmes

 

 

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