Detective from Lincolnshire Police's cyber-crime have issued advice to locals after an increase in computer service fraud.
Computer Software Service fraud occurs when fraudsters claim that the victim has a problem with their computer, and that they need to pay a fee for it to be resolved. Often, this means gaining remote access to the victims computer and then from that, their online banking account.
Fraudsters will cold-call or will prompt the victim to call via a pop-up on their computer.
Since the beginning of May, detectives have found that previous victims have again been targeted, with offenders claiming they need to pay money for a fake protection service they have provided, or a subscription fee to provide protection from a new threat. Threatening and aggressive language is often used.
Detective Sergeant Simon Gunn said: “We want to make this information available to everyone to raise as much awareness as possible. We appreciate that computer safety is not always on the top of everyone’s minds, but without being aware, you could find your computer being remotely controlled by criminals and your bank account emptied.
“It is important that you are aware what to do. If you do get a cold-call or a pop-up appears on your screen, listen to your instincts. If it feels wrong, it will be. Stop and take a moment to consider your options, all legitimate companies will allow you to take your time, and they will never be aggressive. Never allow remote access to your computer.
“Please report it if you think you have been the victim of a crime. Reporting that cold-call could prevent someone more vulnerable becoming a victim of this offence a few hours later.”
If you feel you have been a victim of fraud or cyber-crime, please call 0300 123 2040 and report it. Alternatively contact ActionFraud.Police.uk
For more information on how to protect yourself online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk, and www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk