A COMPUTER expert in Bredon has warned people to be wary of scammers after being inundated with complaints.

Jim Verrechia, who runs im2 Computer Systems in Bredon, said he has been contacted with complaints regarding unsolicited phone calls to people who have been targeted by fraudsters claiming to be from 'Microsoft' or a 'computer service company'.

The caller allegedly tells the victim their computer is "infected" or "has a problem" and that they can help.

Mr Verrechia is now warning people to be careful.

He said: "The truth is no one will ever call you like this, unless they wish to extort money from you. We receive these calls on a daily basis so there is clearly huge ramp-up in this kind of activity.

"The victim is usually told they have to pay a small fee for their help; then the caller gains access to the computer with the victim's permission.

"Once the computer is accessed the caller can do unlimited damage to the computer and in all cases will request an initial payment from the victim, via debit or credit card, or via your online bank account.

"What's worse the amount requested as payment is usually a fraction of the final amount taken. I am today aware of a resident who has parted with in excess of £2,400 as a result of one of these calls."

Mr Verrechia advised people make a note of the number, do not engage the caller but if you have gone beyond this point before suspecting fraud and have exchanged personal information, inform your bank or card provider, stop your card immediately and see if the card provider will assist you with your problem.

Anyone that has been targeted can contact the police by visiting actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040.