With the number of computer-related scam telephone calls on the rise, we explain how you can avoid getting caught out.

“Hello, this is an engineer from Microsoft. We’ve been monitoring your computer and believe you have a problem that’s slowing your PC down.”

The voice on the end of your telephone sounds earnest and very sincere. The person ringing you may claim to be from any number of companies, including Microsoft, the BT Group or any one of any number of anti-virus software firms. In fact, what you have been told is a complete lie.

Why? Because none of these companies has the ability, time or the inclination to monitor anyone’s PC, at least not unless you have rung them to raise a fault call in the first place.  

As of July 2018, more than 90 per cent of the UK population has accessed the internet in the past 12 months, and there are over 700 million Windows 10 users alone worldwide.

When you consider all the older versions of Windows still in use, plus all the Apple Mac or Linux users and the increasing number of people who access the internet via a mobile phone or tablet, then the infrastructure to monitor every electronic device simply doesn’t exist outside of some hi-tech Hollywood blockbuster.

So, what do you do if you receive one of these calls?

Simply hang up, no matter how convincing they sound. If they call back, hang up again and they’ll soon take the hint. 

Don’t try to be clever and see what happens. Don’t visit any web pages they tell you to go to or provide any other details, such as an email address. Most important of all, never give them any banking details. Once again, just hang up the phone.

Remember, nobody can gain access to your computer over the internet without your help. Hang up, and stay safe online.

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