A Salutary Lesson

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Tarvinonline has regularly published scams reported by the police and the Fraud Agency in order that our community is kept informed and residents are best able to protect themselves against those that prey upon the unwary. Because Tarvin is a low crime area, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking it won't happen here and indeed a recent scam report actually stated that this particular scam had so far only happened in Sussex which does feel like a long way away!

That why when we received an e-mail from a local resident telling us about an actual scam she had suffered recently we thought that our readers would be interested to learn how easy it is to fall prey to scammers. Here in her own words is her story -

"I am computer savvy. I have experts in the family but I STILL got sucked in to a scam at the weekend.

The phone rang, "this is TalkTalk madam, you are experiencing internet problems". Yes I was. "If you go to your computer, we can talk you through and sort it out". By now voice in head saying, don't do it, I'ts dodgy, but still I did it.

They proceed to talk me through various things — voice in head getting more insistent but still I ignore it. I am requested to open software that I know full well accesses my computer remotely, still I do it! Then I ask, 'how do I know you are Talk Talk?' They then reel off account details. Little voice getter even louder.

As I have a server that backs everything up, I still ignore it. Then I'm in a DOS screen (black with white text) and it is scrolling through a tree showing my entire computer contents. Text turns red. Little voice now apoplectic and I call my son on my mobile. I hang up immediately. Switch the computer off by on/off button, not worrying about the proper shut down procedure -the remote access software was still open. I turn off router- doing this means that when I next turn it on I will have a different IP address making it harder for 'them' to find it.

I turn the computer back on to see if anything is still there and run a full scan to find that scammers had actually disabled my virus checker and firewall! My son came and checked it over, found one suspicious item in the registry but I seem to have been lucky. I had finally stopped it in time. However, I shall still be having it wiped clean and start everything afresh.

Sometimes they install 'Ransom' which means you are asked for money to be able to access your own computer and files! Please, please, please, do not do what I did. I really do know better, I'm computer savvy and have experts in the family but I was STILL was sucked in."

ED : This is a timely warning bearing in mind that Talk Talk has just had
its system hacked for the third time in the last 12 months. The expectation must be that many more people will receive calls similar to the one above and hopefully more of us will be better prepared for if it happens.