Watch out for computer con

Police in the district are reminding residents not to divulge any personal details over the phone or allow any unknown person access to your computer.

The reminder comes following an incident where a local resident was contacted by a company claiming his computer was infected by a virus and seeking remote access to the computer.

When remote access is granted the caller/company can access all information on your computer, meaning that the device can be damaged and confidential, private and financial information can be compromised and used for criminal purposes. Criminals will also seek payment from you for the very programs they will ask you to download which will then allow them access to your details.

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.

If you are a victim of this type of fraud, it should be reported to Action Fraud by phoning 0300 123 2040 or by visiting their website at

Police would advise anyone who is contacted in this way to report it to their local police on 0845 600 8000. If you have any concerns or require any further advice or information please feel free to contact your local Crime Prevention Officer.