Police are warning residents about a popular computer scam surfacing in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area in recent weeks.
Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said homeowners will receive a phone call from someone falsely claiming to be a representative of a reputable computer repair or software company such as Microsoft, then attempt to convince the owner that their computer is infected with a virus. The scammer will then offer to remotely “clean” the computer for a fee.
“It’s not difficult to talk people into the idea that they have a virus on their computer,” Foreman told The NEWS.
“It seems they are preying on people who maybe haven’t grown up with a computer, that’s why it’s more prominent in our area.”
Foreman said he isn’t aware of any residents losing money to this scam, but notes reports continue to come into the detachment.
He said the scam is easily avoided and encourages residents to take their computer to a local repair shop, or call a mobile repair specialist, if they think they have a virus.
According to a news release issued by police, these scammers have been “very convincing” in recent reports.
“Microsoft will not call you, therefore, simply hang up if you receive a similar call,” states the release.
If you receive a similar call, police suggest simply hanging up.