Computer fraudster scams almost £8k from Brighton woman

Posted On 09 Aug 2020 at 2:20 am

A bogus caller pretending to be from Amazon scammed almost £8,000 from a woman in Hove, Sussex Police said.

The force said: “A 60-year-old woman in Brighton was contacted by a man purporting to be a security technician from Amazon and said her online security was at risk.

“She was told had been hacked by someone in California and her IP address was not secure.

“The victim was advised to download an app which then gave scammers access to her computer.

“They took her financial and personal details and transferred £7,900 from her accounts.

“The victim realised and contacted police.”

The case was one of dozens to have prompted Sussex Police to issue a warning to beware of fraudsters calling about computer security, saying: “Sussex Police is urging people to be wary of software scams.

“The force has received 77 reports from vulnerable victims so far this year, with losses totalling £154,454. The average loss has been around £2,000.

“The scam typically involves the victim being told they have been hacked or their computer has a virus.

“They’re advised they need to install software, pay money or hand over details to protect their device from further damage.

“An 80-year-old man in Rye received a call saying his computer had viruses and security issues.

“The victim thought this was odd as he had paid around £600 a few months ago to McAfee for anti-virus and computer protection, which was a three-year subscription.

“The fraudster persuaded the victim to give remote access to the computer and asked him to transfer £900 via Moneygram to sort out the problem.

“The victim returned to his computer to find that he could not enter is password and had been locked out of it.”

PC Bernadette Lawrie

Financial safeguarding officer PC Bernadette Lawrie said: “Please be wary if you receive an unsolicited call about the security of your computer.

“There are fraudsters out there who will try to capitalise on your concern to financially profit.

“We’re urging people to be careful make sure you know who you’re talking to.

“Remember, computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.

“Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware.

“Treat all unsolicited phone calls with scepticism and don’t give out any personal information.

“If you feel pressured, hang up and talk it through with a friend or family member.”

Sussex Police also said that its advice for anyone who received an unsolicited call included

  • don’t allow remote access to your computer
  • don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision – a genuine bank or another trusted organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot and would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
  • remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions
  • don’t make a payment
  • make sure you know who you are talking to – if in doubt, hang up immediately
  • listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it
  • remember that criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home – they may appear trustworthy but they may not be who they claim to be
  1. Simon Phillips Reply

    No one thinks that this will happen to you in or anyone else you know? You think it only happens to people that at greedy, people that aren’t happy with their fortune, but want more?
    But it also happens to people that are desperate, people that have lost everything, through such things as divorce. If a home is split down the middle in a divorce settlement, what chance has either partner buying another home in this climate where homes are unaffordable? The only chance they have, is to rent. And rental at today’s prices, means a divorce settlement money, would run out with a decade? And then what do you do???
    Like I say. Some people get desperate. I know someone that list £24,000. I also know someone that lost £16,000. They say; A Fool and his money are easily parted?”
    But when you know these ‘fools’ it is not funny!!!
    These scams are endemic in this country, and there really, REALLY needs to be something or someone out there, to take this criminal activity serious and task forces set up to shut down and prosecute these people, because at present, it’s literally your fault, you’re stupid to fall for it and you’re on you’re own!
    It is not good enough and there needs to be something in place to verify these scams!

  2. Simon Phillips Reply

    No one thinks that this will happen to you in or anyone else you know? You think it only happens to people that at greedy, people that aren’t happy with their fortune, but want more?
    But it also happens to people that are desperate, people that have lost everything, through such things as divorce. If a home is split down the middle in a divorce settlement, what chance has either partner buying another home in this climate where homes are unaffordable? The only chance they have, is to rent. And rental at today’s prices, means a divorce settlement money, would run out with a decade? And then what do you do???
    Like I say. Some people get desperate. I know someone that list £24,000. I also know someone that lost £16,000. They say; A Fool and his money are easily parted?”
    But when you know these ‘fools’ it is not funny!!!
    These scams are endemic in this country and out of control, and there really, REALLY needs to be something or someone out there, to take this criminal activity serious and task forces set up to shut down and prosecute these people, because at present, it’s literally your fault, you’re stupid to fall for it and you’re on you’re own!
    It is not good enough and there needs to be something in place to verify these scams!

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