Bolton Council's Trading Standards team is warning residents about the return of a telephone scam in relation to computers.
An initial warning was issued earlier this year after a number of Bolton residents received phone calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft.
The caller asked if the resident's computer was running slow and suggested it was infected with a virus. The caller then said ‘the problem’ could be fixed if the resident logged onto their computer and entered their credit card details in order to buy corrective software.
The calls were a scam and led to residents buying unnecessary software that deleted files and disabled anti-virus software. In addition, the caller also had residents’ credit card details.
Trading Standards North West, of which Bolton is a part, has reported a recent surge of these calls in the region again and is reiterating the warning.
Bolton residents are advised to be on their guard as the scam could reach the borough very soon.
It is not unusual for most computers to run slower than when first bought and Microsoft never use cold-calling methods. Residents are advised to ignore the caller and immediately put the phone down if they receive such a call.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing and Skills, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, said: "This scam could end up with people handing over their credit card details, as well as buying software which damages their computer. No reputable company phones you out of the blue offering to fix your computer and we would advise any resident who receives a call like this to put down the phone.”
For more information on scams in general, follow the link on the right hand side to the Consumer Direct website or call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.
Microsoft also has information about this specific scam on their website.