Sidmouth pensioner’s warning after scammers access webcam
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A pensioner who almost fell foul of a phone scam is warning others to think before they hand over their details - after fraudsters accessed her webcam.
The Sidmouth resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said con-artists claiming to be from BT and acting on behalf of Microsoft are tricking people into handing over control of their computers.
They then make out that the machines are infected and offer anti-virus packages costing more than £100. The woman was so worried she cancelled all her bank cards.
“They say they are phoning on behalf of BT Microsoft,” she said. “They are checking computers in the area because they are running slowly, which they are – then they are in your computer.
“I wasn’t very well at the time or I wouldn’t have gone for it as I did. What was very unnerving was I had to go to the bathroom and when I came back they had Skyped me [activating my webcam] and could see me.”
You may also want to watch:
The woman was quoted prices of £120, £220 or £290 for a trio of anti-virus packages.
“They wouldn’t let me come out of my computer for ages,” said the pensioner.
- 1 High Street beckons for hobbyists emerging from lockdown
- 2 General Buller's statue in Exeter stay or go?
- 3 Two Sidmouth gardens set to open to the public this bank holiday
- 4 Here come the Red Arrows! Things are looking up for town
- 5 Property of the Week: Flat 2 Bedford
- 6 When it comes to our beach, its about taking responsibility for what we do
- 7 Now is the time to shop locally says Sidmouth artist
- 8 SRC mighty six take on Sid Valley Ring half-marathon
- 9 First time in a year for Sidmouth's rugby youngsters
- 10 Stuart Hughes retains Sidmouth county council seat
“It wasn’t a nice experience. It made me feel very vulnerable.”
When she got off the phone, the woman called BT and her suspicions that it was a scam were confirmed. The firm is sending out an engineer to fix her computer.
She spent the rest of the morning cancelling her bank cards as a precaution.
The woman has worked with computers, but said she wanted to warn others who are less familiar with the pitfalls – as she knows some people have bought one of the packages.