1 in 4 hit by cyber phone scam

A quarter of Internet users in the UK have been targeted by cold calling cyber criminals falsely claiming their computer is infected with a virus, according to the Government.
Evidence from some of the most serious ‘malicious anti-virus’ (also known as ‘rogue AV’) cases known to date indicates that organised gangs stand to make millions while victims are left out-of-pocket, their bank details stolen and their computers seriously compromised, say experts at GetSafeOnline.org, the UK’s national Internet security initiative.
Victims are misled into thinking that their computers are infected with malicious software which can be fixed at a nominal cost – usually around £30 to download a ‘patch’. The ultimate goal is to obtain credit card information or secure remote control of the victim’s computer for other illegal activity, such as identity fraud or to launch phishing attacks that are then untraceable.
Baroness Neville-Jones, Minister of State for Security, commented: “Given that our latest research indicates 80 per cent of UK Internet users have never heard of these ‘IT helpdesk’ scams, yet almost a quarter have been approached by them, it is vital that we make people aware of this threat.
“While it’s encouraging to see that UK Web users are today more security-aware, criminals will always try to be ahead of the game and will use increasingly sophisticated methods to take advantage where they can.”

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