During February I had the pleasure of supporting a couple from Kingskerswell who had been having some digital issues and had, unfortunately been victim to an online phishing scam.

This scam uses fake tech support employees that call and pretend to be a computer technician from a well-known company. They say they’ve found a problem with your computer. They often ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then pretend to run a diagnostic test. Then they try to make you pay to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. If you refuse, they sometimes delete essential files in your device which can render it unusable. Unfortunately, this was the case with my participants device. During a session I managed to get there machine back to working order but came at the price of losing all data saved onto it. It was at this point we started to look at online safety, what to look out for in the future and how to protect yourself from scammers. In this instance it is worthwhile to know;

  1. Legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email or text message to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
  2. Security pop-up warnings from real tech companies will never ask you to call a phone number.
  3. If you are unsure the phone number is legitimate, put it down and call the same company using a number you know to be safe. Either taken directly from a device itself or from a quick google search.

Once we had restored the device, we were able to continue with the couple’s digital support.

“We found Ben wonderful with his help, with patience and understanding. We would recommend him for anyone. Ben helped us with our computer and printer, which was trashed by someone. We can now save word documents and print them out, allowing us to rehearse for and attend our local choir. His help was brilliant and put us back on the map. We would like to thank him for his kindness throughout and once again recommend him to anyone”

Just like anyone in the area, the couple are welcome to attend as many Digital Cafes for further support as they would like, and I look forward to an update from them soon!