How to beat the phone scammers

With reference to your news item ‘Sussex residents warned about new phone scam’ (Herald, September 16), I have been contacted on three occasions by a caller stating I must go to my computer immediately as a virus will cause serious trouble.

I was well aware this was a scam to get access to my computer – if they had, they would have been disappointed as I only keep my books, letters, short stories and articles stored in it, there are no bank details whatsoever.

On the first two occasions I simply put the phone down; by the third time, I’d thought I’d have some fun and play them at their own game.

This caller launched into the same story that my computer was in imminent danger of crashing and needed to be fixed immediately. I expressed total surprise and gave him the impression that I was a willing victim.

So, I was instructed to open my computer and they would give me instructions on the phone on what to do to prevent this ‘serious breakdown.’

Having let the caller spend useless time running through statements about viruses and the critical situation which were probably supposed to frighten me, I eventually broke into his non-stop chatterings to reply, ‘Yes we do have a problem. You see, I’m down here on a corded telephone and my computer is upstairs in my back bedroom. I can’t reach it. Perhaps you would like to write to me instead.’

After a brief pause, the phone went dead. I haven’t been bothered since.

Elizabeth Wright

Midhurst Road