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A salutary tale

Highway has recently assisted a member who was the victim of a clever scam.  Whilst surfing, a message appeared on the screen saying that the computer was infected.  This was accompanied by a voice relating a similar warning to the message.  What made it seem to our member that it could be genuine was that the number being displayed was a freephone (0800) number.

Our member telephoned the number, and, over the next couple of hours, allowed the computer to be remotely accessed by the scammer who, at the conclusion of the 'work done to disinfect the computer', took a credit card payment for almost £200.

When our member realised that they had been conned they contacted their bank, who asked for independent verification that this was a scam.  This is when we became involved.  Steve checked the laptop and there was software installed that simply should not have been there and concluded that the only way to ensure no additional hidden malware had been planted during the remote session was to completely wipe the system and reinstall everything from scratch.

However, this still left our member nearly £200 out of pocket.  To respond to the bank's request for verification that it was a scam, I did some research into the freephone number and the company(ies) behind it.  A transcript of the letter appear in the reply to this post which I sent to the bank that resulted in a full refund from them to their customer, our member.

Please remember that all Highway members have to do when something like this occurs is put the phone down / switch off the computer and  contact us immediately. Never allow anyone (apart from Highway) to access your computer remotely.

Phil on 16/4/16
Phil on 16/4/16
Here's a transcript of the letter sent to the bank

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