The HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Unit is warning citizens about a computer related scam.
The Unit regularly takes complaints from citizens who have received a call from someone claiming to represent a large software company. The caller tells the victim they have detected a problem on their computer.
The problem may be that the computer has a virus or is working slowly and offers to fix it. The victim is directed to get on their computer and follow a list of instructions that are supposed to correct the problem. Investigators believe that by following the instructions, the suspect gains remote access to the computer, including all personal information.
The Unit has recently received a number of these complaints where the callers have become increasingly hostile to the point of threatening or harassing. In several cases the victim receives several calls even though they had originally declined their assistance. Residents are advised that if they receive a threatening or harassing phone call, they can press *57 (land lines only) after they hang up to trace the last incoming call. The information can then be retrieved by police if needed.
If anyone has received a similar call and has followed the instructions, it is recommended that you have your computer serviced at a reputable shop. Citizens are also reminded not to give personal information to anyone, whether solicitation occurs by telephone or in person, unless you have initiated the contact or you are certain of the identification of the individual and the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent.