Police are warning members of the public about a new phone scam targeting residents in Inverness.
Victims have been advised by the caller – who claims to be from a computer company – that their computers require a clean-up to get rid of viruses and resolve other technical issues.
A number of suspected fraud cases have been reported to police recently in the Inverness area. In each call, a set amount of money was requested from the scammer with no proof of purchase or services provided in return.
Police said that one victim had a three figure sum taken from them as a result.
Inspector Andrew Blakey said: “Without police intervention further money may have been exchanged.
“We advise householders never to provide bank or card details over the phone during an unexpected/cold call and to take a telephone number to call the company back; a genuine company will be happy to take your call. If you’re experiencing issues with your computer consult a reputable IT company.
“Look out for elderly family members, friends or neighbours who may be more vulnerable to this type of scam.”
Police have also provided tips on protecting against phone fraud, including:
oConsider making your phone number ex-directory.
oDon’t give out any personal information unless you are the one who made the call and you are certain of the identity of the person you are speaking to.
oDon’t give out your credit card or bank card details to strangers on the telephone.
oNever tell somebody your bank PIN number, even if they claim to be the bank or police. If the caller is genuine they will never ask for this information.
oDon’t give out information which may infer that you live alone, are older or vulnerable.
oNever send money to anyone who claims to have a prize for you.
oIf it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
oContact local trading standards – they may be able to use approved ‘call blocking’ technology.
Police urge anyone who experiences similar calls to follow the tips above and to report the matter via 101.