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Watchdogs warn St Helens residents over double phone scam
10:53am Monday 18th March 2013 in News
WATCHDOGS from St Helens Trading Standards are warning people not to be conned by two phone scams currently hitting town.
In the first sting, people have been getting telephone calls in which they are told they have asked for a service to block withheld number calls, but are then asked to provide their bank details.
Later between £49 - £79 is withdrawn from their accounts even though no such blocking service has been provided.
In the second phone fraud, residents have been receiving telephone calls and told that they need to update their computer and that they should allow the caller remote access to log on to their PC so they can fix a problem with their Microsoft software.
This scam is aimed at gaining access to information on your computer, which could allow the caller to steal valuable passwords etc, or they will request a fee once they have control of your PC.
Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection and Safer Communities said: “It is easy for any resident to be caught off guard by a telephone call received out of the blue.
“Often when computers are involved people can become baffled by what a caller is telling them and be easily lead into a doing something which on reflection, they would realise is not the best thing to do.
“Any legitimate caller would be more than happy to allow a resident time to think about what they are being asked to do and not pressure or con anyone into giving their bank details away or allowing access to their computer.”
Residents are advised to stop and think when they receive an unexpected call. They should pause for thought and ask themselves have they requested a product or service and is an unsolicited call from a stranger the best way to solve a problem they may have?
Any residents, who are cold-called and are suspicious that the call may not be genuine, should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 for advice.