Hounslow Council Warn Against Computer Scam

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Hounslow council is warning residents to be on their guard after an increasing number of complaints have been received about companies calling residents offering computer virus removal services.

Several of these have falsely claimed to be working on behalf of Microsoft or the victims’ own internet service provider, and con people into believing they were dealing with legitimate suppliers.

The callers persuade people to give them remote access to computers, effectively allowing them to take control and access whatever files and documents they like. This could lead to personal information being stolen or even malicious software and viruses being installed on the computer by the person claiming to remove them.

The companies then charge large amounts for the ‘service’, claiming the viruses have been removed when customers were never aware of a problem or the problems are not resolved.

Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety and regulatory services, said: “Computer companies do not make unsolicited phone calls. There is no legitimate way that someone who cold calls you can know whether or not your computer has a virus, or is in need of a service pack installing.

“We strongly advise residents to purchase and install reputable anti virus software or to contact their own internet service provider’s IT support if in doubt.”

February 2, 2012