Thankfully most types of crime are falling. Car crime has virtually been designed out and in our neck of the woods not many of us have ever experienced burglary. However, telephone and internet scams are on the rise. We should all be hyper-vigilant. It is so easy to get caught by very persuasive and ever-more-ingenious schemes. Let me set out the experience of a local couple who recently nearly got ensnared.
They received a phone call allegedly from Talk-Talk(their internet provider) asking them to check the lights on their router. To do so they were asked to go onto their lap-top. The reassuring, professional voice on the phone then said they would give them £200 as their broadband wasn't working to the extent it should and also mentioned that they might need a new router.
The “Talk-talk” (not) person requested their bank details to pay the money in. The couple explained that the company already had their bank details and the person replied that was a different department.Details were duly given.
The caller then fiddled with his computer while still on the phone and then said “Oh look- I have accidentally paid in £2200 – not the agreed £200! I will get in trouble for this. I can increase the amount to £400, but can you send back £1800 by money gram?” They gave a name and contact (in the Ukraine) to enable them to do so.
My constituents are very decent people. They did not want the “nice person” to get into trouble for his mistake. They went to the local Post Office to do this but fortunately the Post Office was closed due to a technical glitch.
They went to another Post Office but decided to get a bank statement on the way. Naturally this did not show any such payment of the £2200. They went into the local bank and asked whether the bankstatement would be up to date. It was then highlighted to the couple that this was a scam.
The couple were advised to have their lap-top checked and it was discovered that dangerous malware had been placed on the lap-top. They incurred costs of £33 in removing the danger and making the lap-top secure.
The moral of this story is that all of us should be very wary of unsolicited calls. Never give bank details out to such callers. We are all vulnerable: young and old. Be on your guard!