A MAN from Portsmouth has been conned out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters pretending to work for Virgin Media.
Hampshire police have issued advice after the victim, who wants to remain anonymous, had £27,000 stolen from his bank account by scammers who gained remote access to his computer.
The trouble began when the man received a letter claiming to be from Virgin Media which said the company had spotted fraudulent activity on his account.
It advised him not to check his bank details until the issue was resolved.
He later received a phone call from a man with a ‘strong accent’, also claiming to be from Virgin Media, who told him his account had been targeted by fraudsters.
The conversation lasted a number of hours and the caller managed to gain access his computer – under the guise he was carrying out a security check.
This was false – and instead of remedying issues he said he had found, he gained access to his victim’s bank details and withdrew £27,000 from his account.
Police have now issued advice to residents in a bid to ensure no one else falls prey to similar scams.
PC Jackie Conners, said: ‘If you receive a letter from a company claiming that your account has been subject of fraud it is important that you obtain a contact number for the company either from their web page or from a previous genuine bills. Do not call the number on the letter.
‘If this is genuine correspondence you can call the company on their main number and they will be able to put you through to the correct department.
‘If you are contacted directly by someone claiming to be from a company, request their details and which department they are from.
‘Ask then for a reference number and advise them that you will contact them back using the main number for the company. Do not allow them to persuade you otherwise. If they are genuine they will have no issue with this course of action.
‘Always ensure that the phone line is clear. Often fraudsters will not hang up which could lead you to believe that you are speaking to someone else when in fact you are still talking to the fraudster. If in doubt hang up and unplug your phone to clear the line prior to using it again.
‘If anyone asks for remote access to your computer do not allow this and do not provide your bank details if requested.
‘No genuine company would request remote access to your computer or ask you to disclose your security information linked to your bank account.’
Officers have urged residents to pass the advice on to their friends, families and neighbours to help stamp out on the crime.