Joy warns of scam

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By RE­BECCA SMITH

Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent A Toko­roa woman is warn­ing peo­ple to be care­ful af­ter a phone scam op­er­a­tor tried to get her bank de­tails over the phone.

Long-time Toko­roa res­i­dent Joy Bryant was phoned by a some­one from a com­pany call­ing it­self the Global Main­te­nance Depart­ment.

‘‘A lady called me say­ing I had a new virus on my com­puter,’’ Mrs Bryant said. ‘‘An Asian lady who spoke in a mono­tone voice called up off a four digit num­ber and said she was from this com­pany and that they had de­tected a new ‘make be­lieve’ virus on my com­puter. She of­fered to fix it over the phone if I gave her my credit card de­tails. Ba­si­cally if I paid $30 she was go­ing to clean out my com­puter.’’

For­tu­nately for Mrs Bryant her son Jeremy, 18, is a com­puter whiz. She put him on the phone and he hung up im­me­di­ately, Mrs Bryant said.

‘‘They asked to speak to the main user, which is my son. Jeremy an­swered say­ing ‘so you are not from Tele­com or Voda­fone?’ And then he hung up. I even said that was rude, you shouldn’t have hung up on her.’’

Sure enough straight af­ter the phone call Jeremy Google searched ‘‘ Global Main­te­nance Depart­ment’’ and it came up listed as a scam, with re­ports of in­ci­dents all over the world.

‘‘ The com­pany doesn’t even ex­ist. They say they are ring­ing ev­ery­one with pro­grammes such as Vista 7 or win­dows XP loaded on their com­puter, al­though it is to­tally ran­dom.’’

Mrs Bryant does not want any­one to fall for this scam.

‘‘I don’t want any­one else scammed by them. I’ve heard of a lot of peo­ple who have been. It is easy to al­low this to hap­pen. She sounds all so help­ful and gen­uine. I should have known when she said she had de­tected a virus on my com­puter that it was all lies, only your per­sonal in­ter­net provider has this kind of in­for­ma­tion.’’

SCAM DODGED: Joy Bryant pic­tured with her son Jeremy who hung up on a phone call from woman try­ing to scam the fam­ily out of money.

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