Each week I receive multiple phone calls from scammers.
And they get an earful of abuse before I hang up.
They are absolute scum; modern day thieves.
The banks are concerned and regularly send out warnings.
Here's an extract of a recent communication from a bank ...
The scam involves a caller posing as an employee of a large telco, utility provider or computer company. The caller will usually advise they are calling you because your PC has malicious software, help is needed to catch a criminal, or to recover an outstanding debt owed to a government body. Callers may become quite aggressive, or threaten you with prosecution, if you do not comply with their request.
We strongly recommend you simply hang up if you receive this type of call. If you believe the call was legitimate, we recommend you return the call to the company on a trusted number found in the yellow pages or on the company's website.
How this type of scam works:
The caller will generally ask you to install a piece of software onto your PC. The technical name is 'remote access software' and this software allows information, or even control of your computer to be shared remotely with another user. Once the software is installed, the other user may attempt to control your computer without your permission or knowledge.
The caller will ask you to sign into your online banking to check your account balances, return deposited funds, pay a fee for their service or even purchase gifts cards. At this point you may not know the caller is controlling your computer.
You will now have an increased balance in your transaction account, giving the false impression that a deposit has been made. Callers will generally ask you to return these via online banking, a money transfer agent or in cash.
Before making any payments or returning funds to the caller by online banking, credit card or in cash, please thoroughly check all of your account transactions, including your credit cards. In reported cases of these scams, customers have had funds transferred unknowingly between their own accounts by the caller.
What should I do?
Share information about these types of scams with your friends and family, especially those who may be more vulnerable to this type of crime.
Stop and consider the caller's request - would the company which has contacted me ask me to do this? It's OK to ask for a second opinion from a friend or family member if someone contacts you unexpectedly, especially when the caller asks you to keep this a secret from anyone.