Oceanside RCMP warn residents about computer scam

Police in Parksville Qualicum Beach report that three similar reports of this computer scam were received locally this week

  • Feb. 4, 2014 2:00 p.m.

The computer-cleaner scam has resurfaced in this region.

The Oceanside RCMP report that three similar reports of this computer scam were received locally this week.

According to the RCMP, here’s how it works: A homeowner receives a call from someone claiming to be representative of a reputable computer repair or software company. They try to convince the computer owner that their computer is infected with a virus or needs ‘cleaning’, they will then offer to remotely ‘clean’ the computer for a fee. Police say the result is the scammer gains remote access to your computer and is able to gain your personal information. They will claim to have cleaned your computer and will ask for credit card payment for the service. Often if the computer owner refuses to pay, the computer is then infected with a virus or computer problems surface.

Police said this scam is easily avoided. They suggest people take their computer to a local repair shop or call a mobile repair specialist if you feel you have a virus or issue.

“These scammers can be very convincing and in the recent cases, they claimed to be representing the Microsoft Corporation. The Microsoft Corporation will not call you, therefore, simply hang up if you receive a similar call,” said Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Forman.

If you receive a similar call, police suggest you simply hang up and  do not allow remote access to be gained and do not provide money or personal details to these scammers.

— NEWS Staff/RCMP

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