Warning after ‘frightening’ scam ordeal

Ladybank'Margaret Swan, who was targeted by computer hackers'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
Ladybank'Margaret Swan, who was targeted by computer hackers'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

A Ladybank grandmother is warning others to be on their guard after suffering an upsetting ordeal at the hands of a cyber criminal.

Margaret Swan (71) was bombarded with no fewer than 12 phone calls at her home in Beech Avenue on Monday in the space of just 45 minutes .

She was targeted by a man purporting to be from Microsoft who told her that her computer had a virus and she had to switch it on.

When she refused, he became aggressive and it was only after her son Grant threatened him with the police that he hung up.

“It was an international call from someone saying his name was Alan and that he was a Microsoft expert,” said Margaret.

“He told me my computer had a Trojan virus that was making it continually send him e-mails and that I had to switch it on so he could fix it.

“I refused, as I have already had a bad experience whereby a scammer used my e-mail address to take around £500 from my account.

“But he just kept on phoning and became quite nasty.

“It was nothing short of harrassment and really quite frightening.

“My husband Rodger was very upset .”

Sergeant Gary Combe of the Cupar-based Community Investigation Unit told the Fife Herald such incidents were all too common.

“This was a typical scam,” he said.

“These cyber criminals are preying on people’s vulnerabilities by bombarding them with unsolicited calls in an attempt to get hold of personal data.

“The best thing to do is hang up and call the police and your telephone company, as they can put measures in place to stop unsolicited calls.

“Mrs Swan did the right thing by refusing to switch on her computer, as once you do so they can control it remotely.

“And never provide them with any personal information, no matter how convincing they sound.”