Police have issued a warning after a Dromara man was unable to gain access to his computer, having earlier afforded remote control to a company called Blaze Software.
Local residents are being reminded as a result not to divulge any personal details over the phone or allow any unknown person access to their computer.
Blaze software first contacted the Dromara man in April, to discuss his computer and internet speed, at which point he said he would consider their offer to improve his computer speed.
Last week the company called again, asking that he switch on his computer and divulge various passwords, thereby gaining remote control of his computer.
According to police the company asked the man to access his internet banking, which he refused to do; the caller then made inappropriate comments about the screensaver picture on his computer and the resident ended the call.
He was then unable to gain access to his computer.
PSNI E District Crime Prevention Officer, Lisa Sherman said: “Allowing remote access to a computer can result in damage being caused to it and confidential private and financial information could be compromised and used for criminal purposes. Never divulge passwords or personal details over the phone.
“Anyone concerned about security on their computer should consider the following: If you are worried about viruses, a number of anti-virus software packages, both free and paid-for, are available from reputable computer outlets and on the internet; not all on-line software is safe to install – check it out with reputable dealers and computer publications; make sure your computer’s firewall is turned on and that antivirus software is installed and up to date; make sure security updates from your software company are installed regularly.
“Various methods are employed by criminals to get personal information but if a company or individual contacts you and you are unsure or feel that something is not right then ask for their contact details to ascertain their identity.
“Personal details should never be disclosed to unsolicited callers or via email or online. Legitimate companies will not usually approach you in this way.
“Anyone who believes they may have been victim of of a computer scam or has any concerns should contact police on 101. Also contact police about any suspicious cold-call you receive and never give personal or financial details over the phone to people you do not know.”