SIR - In response to your article in the Sidmouth Herald, I am able to tell you that I have been targeted several times, one of which was exactly as your article describes regarding Microsoft.
I hardly use the computer, so I cannot describe myself as being ‘computer literate’. My computer had been getting very slow in operation and, thus, when the caller says he is part of the ‘Microsoft Support Team’ and he has had the information passed on to him that my computer is not operating as efficiently as it should be, I did listen to him!
It was not long before the penny dropped and I cut off the call, but it did frighten me. I had the computer checked through shortly afterwards and was assured that they had not been able to get what they wanted. Unlike other calls coming in from abroad, he did give me a UK phone number. Afterwards, I looked up that number through enquiries, but of course, it was not listed as part of Microsoft. I did not try dialling the number.
Another scam was equally frightening. I cannot remember who the caller said he was, but he opened up by saying that the information had been passed on to them ‘that a member of my family had had an accident’. You tend to stop thinking rationally at that point, and so, again I listened to him. My next mistake was to let him know that I knew he was not a genuine caller. The conversation did not go on for long, but he took his revenge afterwards, and for the next week or so we were pestered with calls - up to 10 a day - and these were all from abroad.
Are you only interested in telephone calls? What about ‘cold-callers’ at the door? We have a notice saying they are not to call.
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Mostly, when you point to the notice, they are very polite, apologise, and go away. This week we had a young man, early twenties, about 5’10”, white with thick black hair. He wore an identity tab of Scottish Power, and wanted to come in to explain how we would benefit from changing to them.
When my wife refused entry, he was rude, and said that our notice did not concern him as he had a list from his office. Instead of going away, he persisted in his sales talk. When she asked him where his office was, he said it was none of her business!
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I did write to Scottish Power, but, as yet, they have not replied - even though their automated reply says they do, usually within two days. This worries me, as I would have thought that if the man was nothing to do with them; they would have said so pretty quickly!
I hope this information helps you to build up some sort of picture as to what is happening around us.