A Dunedin woman is warning people to beware a computer scam
which almost proved expensive for her this week.
Allied Press Ltd features writer Jude Hathaway nearly lost
$429.20 from her bank account after being telephoned on
Wednesday evening by someone alleging she had computer
''They said it was Microsoft and that my computer was showing
a lot of error messages and in danger of crashing,'' Mrs
Hathaway said yesterday.
''They said they could clean it out and that they had special
deals for up to 10 years' protection for my hard drive. So, I
stupidly gave them my card details.
''Fortunately, my daughter rang and I told her what was
happening. There was just this silence on the end of the
phone. Then she told me to pull out all the plugs.''
When Mrs Hathaway contacted her bank, she found a payment of
$429.20 was in the process of being debited from her account.
''The bank was amazing. They stopped the card immediately.
Fortunately the payment was still sitting there, pending. It
hadn't been charged,'' she said.
''But, the whole experience was really scary. I was shocked.
I felt so stupid and vulnerable. Most older people like me
are inclined to trust people,'' Mrs Hathaway (70) said.
''My advice to people is if you get rung up and you're not
sure who they are, just hang up. Don't even engage.''
People should be suspicious of unusual phone calls or emails,
Sergeant Ben Butterfield, of Dunedin police, said yesterday.
''Companies like Microsoft will never ring you up and ask for
personal details. People should be very wary of any
unsolicited emails or phone calls,'' he said.
''If you are ever in any doubt, don't do it.''