Midlands businesses are being targeted by a cold call scam telling workers their computers have been infected with a virus.
Businesses large and small are being drawn into the scam, which attempts to get credit card numbers and other information from victims.
The scam operates by calling people and telling them their computer system is infected and will shortly be damaged beyond repair unless they buy security software and support.
But Chris Pallett, of Shropshire technology firm Bespoke Computing, today warned workers not to give anyone access to their computer unless they know who they are.
Shropshire business owner Chris Pritchard was one of the people the scammers attempted to target.
Chris said: “I answered the phone to what sounded like a call centre, the man on the other end asked me to turn on my computer as they had detected I had a virus and they could help me remove it from my system.
“The man, who spoke poor English, said that they had detected it from a website I had visited. He was quite persistent that I went and turned on my computer so they could remotely help me remove the virus.
“When I refused he ended the call.”
Businesses say the callers claim to be from Microsoft or other internet service providers and the sales pitch is often “aggressive and persistent”.
Mr Pallett said: “If you don’t know the person calling and you never asked them to call I would suggest hanging up straight away.
“It is essential that all computers should have suitable and adequate protection from viruses and other forms of malware but these should be purchased from a reputable computer or technology company.
“Never give anybody access to your computer unless you know who they are.”
Bespoke Computing recommends ESET NOD32 from www.eset.co.uk and is happy to advise on discounts for charity or not-for-profit organisations.
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