Beware of computer virus scam

 | June 29, 2011

Fraudsters behind the computer virus scam that started back in March are still phoning at random, hoping to victimize and make money off of unsuspecting people.

The Kamloops RCMP received three notices in the Kamloops area about the computer virus scam through the Scam Line Information Kamloops (SILK) system last March.

Victims receive a solicitation call from a person offering to check home computers for viruses or malware. The caller assists the victim in using a program that supposedly does a system scan and ends up with an alert saying the computer is infected with a virus. The caller then offers to provide a downloadable program to eliminate the virus and provide security to the victim’s computer.

What the victim doesn’t know is that the program is actually a spyware that gives access to the victim’s personal information, including financial and credit card data.

The Kamloops RCMP reported one case where the scammer remotely controlled the computer and convinced the victim to have $420 deducted monthly from the victim’s credit card for the next five years as payment for the computer program. Through remote access, the caller was able to set up a PayPal account on behalf of the victim that will set up the automatic payments. Upon learning of the fraud, the victim had to change credit cards and bank accounts as well as get the computer cleaned out by a Microsoft approved technician to eliminate the installed virus and spyware.

Police are warning the public to always do their due diligence and to be careful about unsolicited calls and offers of goods and services, especially ones that ask for personal or financial information.

If you encounter a similar unsolicited call that could be a scam, phone the SILK line at 250-828-3266 or e-mail the Kamloops RCMP at [email protected].