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Beware of cyber-crime scams

Call to foil cyber-crime scammers.

A call for vigilance against internet hoaxes is going out after a resident wrote to the council to warn against an elaborate but increasingly common scam.

Cherwell District Council was alerted to the scheme by an elderly gentleman who was telephoned by hoaxers purporting to be from his internet service provider (ISP). The callers offered to help him deal with rogue software they themselves had installed, and then used deception to compromise his computer and attempt to access his bank account.

The resident contacted the council after reading an article in Cherwell Link about its corporate fraud team.

Cllr Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for public protection, said:

“I am grateful that this gentleman has written to the council to prevent his fellow residents from falling victim to similar attacks.

“The key message from his experience is that while lots of us are getting wise to scams such as so-called ‘phishing’ emails purporting to be from banks, there are hoaxers out there who are willing to play the long con in their efforts to stay one step ahead.

“In this instance the resident was targeted by helpful-sounding, highly convincing callers who claimed to be from his ISP and had correct information about him.

“Dealing with this sort of fraud is a waste of our residents’ time and money. But basic security know-how can go a long way towards thwarting such crime.

“Some of the most important advice to heed includes: be certain whom you are dealing with when conducting business over the internet of telephone; close or delete any suspicious pop-up windows or emails rather than opening them; and be wary of any unsolicited requests for personal information.”

The police service offers advice on cyber-crime and support for victims via its National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. The centre can be reached via telephone on 03001 232 040 and via its website at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

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