Gardai in Carrick-on-Shannon have issued a warning after an increase in the number of complaints received regarding a telephone computer scam.
The scam is currently in operation where business people and individuals are being contacted by telephone and informed that ‘Microsoft’ or another reputable computer manufacturer, have identified a problem with their computer.
Members of the public are then asked for their credit card or bank account details, as a small fee is required to repair their computer.
This fee can vary from €70 to €350 and on occasions funds can subsequently be withdrawn from the account without the authority of the account holder.
Gardai are stressing that this is a scam.
Microsoft have issued a statement warning people of the scam noting: “Irish consumers are receiving telephone calls from persons claiming to be from Microsoft, or working on behalf of Microsoft, to tell them they have a virus on their computer.
“Microsoft takes the privacy and security of our customers and partners personal information very seriously. We are advising customers to treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and not to provide any personal information to anyone over the phone or online,” the statement stresses.
“Anyone who receives an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft should hang up. We can assure you Microsoft does not make these kinds of calls.”
Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant James Fox, is now appealing to the public to be alert to these types of fraud.
“If you suspect that you have a computer fault you should bring the computer for repair to a reputable company,” he told the Leitrim Observer this week.
He advises that you should never reveal your credit card or bank details over the telephone or in reply to an unsolicited phone call or e mail.
If you suspect that you are being targeted in relation to this type of activity you should contact their local Garda station immediately.