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Ex-Lord Mayor of Norwich among hundreds swamped by computer 'fault' scam

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 February 2012 | UPDATED: 12:36 08 February 2012

The former Lord Mayor has been called hundreds of times by a call centre attempting to lure him into the scam. Picture: James Bass.

The former Lord Mayor has been called hundreds of times by a call centre attempting to lure him into the scam. Picture: James Bass.

EDP © 2002

A former Lord Mayor of Norwich is among hundreds of targets of a computer 'fault' scam which is plaguing Evening News readers.

Derek Wood, who was Lord Mayor in 1998 and 2002, has been called hundreds of times in the last four months, by a call centre apparently based in India.

Other readers reported being swamped by similar calls telling them there was a fault on their computer since the Evening News reported on the scam on Monday.

Mr Wood said he now speaks in French to the callers in a bid to get them to stop ringing him, but the constant phone calls are starting to irritate him.

“They are massively persuasive,” he said. “I can understand people being taken in by it.”

When the Evening News rang the number which constantly pesters Mr Wood, a man claiming to be from a ‘technical department’ answered and said he was a “legitimate partner of Microsoft”.

Norfolk Trading Standards and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau are warning about the scam where fraudsters gain access to your computer by telling you they are from Microsoft and there is a problem with your PC.

One 74-year-old woman from Stalham lost £820 by paying fees to the caller who said they had fixed her machine. Fraud experts believe details are being sold on to criminal gangs.

And market researcher Pat Kemp, 64, from Sprowston contacted the Evening News after being called three times in three days last week

She said: “I had lots of calls, always from India, telling me I had something wrong with my computer and wanting me to insure it.

“I had to be rude to him and tell him do not ring me again. I am very careful.”

Norwich CAB is also warning about an internet loan scam where fraudsters pose as online lenders.

One man who was offered a £15,000 loan was asked to pay £300 up front but never received the loan.

And one woman thought she was looking at the CAB website for debt advice, but the site was a fake and she was persuaded to sign up to a debt management company for a fee.

To report a scam contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or get in touch with Consumer Direct on 08454040506.

Do you have a story about scams for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email
tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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