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Printer scam traps residents

Created on 01/03/2017 @ 08:09
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Consumers in the Welshpool area are being warned about a new scam targeting those looking for help with printer problems.

Powys County Council’s Trading Standards Service believes some local residents have fallen prey to the scammers who are using online advertised ‘printer helplines’ to suck them in.

Cases seen officials have involved the ‘helpline’ people gaining remote access to computers – under the auspices of helping to resolve technical problems – only to steal personal information including bank account details and infect computers with malware.

One particular group behind these scams – which claims to be affiliated with a wide range of technology brands and printer manufacturers – holds victims to ransom by taking control of their computers before demanding payment to return control.

Clive Jones, the council’s Professional Lead for Trading Standards, said: “This printer helpline scam is particularly pernicious because it encourages victims to unknowingly contact the fraudsters of their own accord. While victims expect they will receive help with their printer problems they have in fact been lured into a trap and find themselves at risking of losing money, important personal information and also have their computer security compromised.”

The council’s Trading Standards Service is advising people to take the following steps:

       When seeking technical support for your printer, make sure you use the contact details provided by the printer manufacturer. These can be found by visiting the manufacturer’s official website, listed on its product packaging and literature

       Be suspicious of helplines asking to take remote control of your computer to fix printer problems

       Make sure that your anti-virus and online security software is kept up-to-date, to reduce the risk of unwanted pop-ups on-screen that may advertise fraudulent services.

If you have fallen victim to a scam, please report it to the Action Fraud at and to Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.


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