27/07/2016 - Permalink

Staff praised for coming to aid of elderly gentleman after becoming victim of BT scam.

Related topics: Adult services

Staff at Shropshire Council’s Vision Technology and Training Shropshire (VTTS) have been praised after they came to the aid of a pensioner whose computer had been hacked following a BT Scam.

The victim, an elderly visually-impaired gentleman from Shrewsbury received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the BT investigations department.

He was told that someone in Nigeria had obtained his details by hacking his phone, and that they had opened four accounts in his name and were going to draw money out of his bank account.

The caller said they could help by getting onto his computer, the gentleman was then instructed to switch on his device and was guided through giving them access to the machine. He was then given a number to ring, which gave the caller the opportunity to put a system lock on his laptop whilst he was distracted.

The pensioner was then asked to pay a fee of £285 for a new account on the computer, and was instructed to complete the transaction details online and to list the caller as a ‘cousin’.  As he was being asked to lie, the gentleman realised that something wasn’t right and hung up on the phone call.

The following day the gentleman was called again but did not comply to the callers request.  The caller informed the pensioner that his computer had now been jammed.

As the gentleman could no longer access his computer, he contacted the VTTS team whom he had previous computer support from. With the help from staff manager Pauline Rose and apprentice application specialist Hannah Gittins, the computer was restored without losing any data and a robust anti-virus programme installed.

Delighted with his laptop back the pensioner praised the efforts of the staff saying;

“these two wonderful people came to the rescue and restored the equipment.  I feel sure in their particular field they are a great asset to our county.”

Fortunately no money or private details were exchanged with the man in the scam attempt.

Councillor Lee Chapman, Cabinet Member for Adult Services added;

“Every year thousands of our most vulnerable people fall victim to professional fraudsters who set up well-organised scams to steal personal and financial information.

“I am really pleased that the gentleman realised this was a scam and did exactly the right thing by not divulging personal information over the phone.

“I would also like to thank Pauline and Hannah for their great work and support in helping this gentleman get his computer back up and running again.”

Scams can take many forms including cold calls, text messages, emails and letters and can often appear genuine.

You can find out more about common types of scams from Action Fraud and Citizens Advice, where you can also find out the best ways to protect yourself from scams and fraud.

If you feel you have become a victim of a scam then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.