COMPUTER scammers posing as Microsoft employees are targeting South Holland residents in a bid to hack credit card details and other personal data.
Two Spalding Guardian readers randomly contacted by fraudsters are warning others not to be fooled.
One reader was called in the early hours by “an Indian sounding male” claiming to be from Microsoft and working with BT. He said he wanted to check her broadband speed.
Dorinda Stevens, of Abbots Way, Spalding, said: “I was totally fooled. My only excuse was it was early in the morning and I just went along with him – starting up my PC and allowing this fraudster dual control of my computer.
“It was only when he started asking me questions on ‘Do you shop online?’ that I then began to worry and the alarm bells started to come on.”
Ms Stevens turned off her computer and heard the caller “panicking to quickly finish off interfering with my files”.
She said: “That off-guard moment has cost me £30 for BT to put it right.”
Ms Stevens said the dual sharing screen appeared genuine.
She said: “It was a hoax and I nearly got caught. On restarting my PC, I found I had lost all my icons.”
Jayne Moore, a director of Gedney firm Moore Construction Services, had an international call at 2.30pm on Tuesday from a man with a Pakistani accent who claimed to be from the “Microsoft Certified Service Centre”.
The caller said her PC had been corrupted, started to talk her through the process of changing programming details and asked her to type in extra words.
Mrs Moore said: “When I refused they got rather abrupt which made me even more suspicious. I told them again I would not enter extra words but would call my service provider and then call them back. The reply was okay and they put the phone down.
“I immediately contacted Microsoft who apologised for the scam call and said under no circumstances does Microsoft contact people direct.”
She believes the scammers are based overseas and are currently trawling 01406 numbers in an attempt to catch people out.