A White Rock man is warning others about a strange phone call he received last week, which he believes was from a scam artist trying to gain access to his computer.
Kirk Bridger said he received a call last week from a man who identified himself as a Microsoft-certified engineer calling from an independent company.
The man told Bridger Wednesday that his company had been receiving messages from Bridger’s computer for the last five weeks indicating it was infected with a virus, and proceeded to walk him through a diagnostic check.
After following several prompts, Bridger was told the presence of yellow or red icons meant his computer had a virus; however, Bridger – who described himself as “somewhat capable in the technical arena” – knew that even an uninfected computer would display red or yellow icons.
Bridger said when he began to dispute what the caller was saying, the man emphasized his certification and insisted Bridger had an “insidious” problem on his hands.
“Once he realized I was technically minded, he started to appeal to that,” Bridger told Peace Arch News. “I figured he’d hang up on me, but he didn’t. He continued to push.”
Though the conversation ended shortly after, Bridger suspects the caller was trying to scare him into downloading a virus-removal application, which he believes would have turned out to be a “trojan” or other “malware” – allowing the caller to have access to and control over his computer.
Bridger – who has also reported the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the B.C. Consumer Protection Agency – said he was worried someone who is less familiar with computer systems and jargon might believe the caller and risk their computer’s security.
For more information on avoiding a potential scam, visit www.antifraudcentre.ca