Uninvited calls about viruses are just a scam
‘‘Hello, I am from Microsoft and we have found a virus on your computer.’’ These are the words which have greeted a number of Matamata residents when they answered their phones recently.
Imatec Solutions owner Ian Manton said people should not buy into it because this was a scam and there were other similar ones circulating.
Mr Manton said he had seen more computer scams in the past few months than there had been in the past five years.
‘‘In the last few months I have had a lot of people saying they are getting scams and I have seen two people lately who have been charged over their credit card,’’ he said.
‘‘Most of the scams are executed by a phone call at night saying they are from a particular computer company, but no one from a computer company can tell if there is a virus on your computer. Even if they look legitimate, take their details down and ask advice before you go any further.’’
He said there were two main scams currently circulating.
The first one was a phone call from a person with a foreign accent saying they had detected errors in your computer; the second one was a call from companies Virtual PC Doctor or Cisctron, both of which had made fake, professional-looking websites.
‘‘ We have had computers brought in that need their hard drive rebuilt and data restored,’’ said Mr Manton. ‘‘It is extremely important to be backing up your data, because if you get scammed, you may lose it all.’’
A Matamata resident, who asked not to be named, also reported a scam to the Matamata Chronicle and said he was very nearly caught out by it.
‘‘I received a phone call from Microsoft saying you have a virus in your computer. After 15 minutes of explaining where the virus is, the foreign accent asked for a MasterCard payment to be made in order to get rid of the virus,’’ he said. ‘‘ I asked the woman multiple times if it was a scam and they said no but as soon as they asked for a payment I knew and hung up.’’
Mr Manton’s last piece of advice is never give over credit card details to anyone until you have checked they are safe.