Sidmouth pensioners traumatised by scam

PUBLISHED: 15:05 24 May 2011

Scam Buster

Scam Buster

Archant

TRAUMATISED elderly residents were left scared to answer the phone for weeks after fraudsters swindled them out of £76 with a computer scam.

TRAUMATISED elderly residents were left scared to answer the phone for weeks after fraudsters swindled them out of £76 with a computer scam.

Kitty Rumsey, 87, of High Street, Newton Poppleford, said she fell “hook line and sinker” for a con in which she was bombarded with telephone calls.

The Herald reported last week how criminals, falsely claiming to represent Microsoft, target residents at random by wrongly claiming there are problems with their PCs. They steal information by remotely accessing machines and even demand payment for their bogus work.

Scores of readers have responded to our Scam Busters bid. We want to hear from anyone targeted by tricksters so others can learn of fraudulent efforts aimed at leaving innocent people out of pocket.

Mrs Rumsey described how she received a call from culprits purporting to be from Microsoft.

“At first I believed they were genuine and switched on my computer,” she said.

“At 87-years-of-age I was too slow to react and they took over my computer to make changes they said were needed to correct the system.

“After an hour-and-a-half my husband realised there was a problem but they refused to deal with him as I’d said yes to what they were offering.

“I was on the phone for two-and-a-half hours, totally traumatised and screaming at the man, who sounded to be of Indian origin. I paid £76.80 by debit card.

“I phoned my bank but the money had already gone.

“We had many calls afterwards and an e-mail saying they wanted to do more work on the machine. We refused to answer the phone for several weeks. We relied on 1471 in case it was family or friends phoning.”

Mrs Rumsey told the Herald: “I hope this will help you to help others.”

“Vulnerable” widow Ira Evans, 85, feared she’d been targeted by the same scam when a man with ‘an Indian or Pakistani accent’, again pretending to represent Microsoft, called and asked to speak to her late husband.

She was repeatedly called back after refusing to allow access to her computer.


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