scam-warningRegular readers may remember that I ALMOST fell foul of what I now call the Windows key and R scam.

You can read more about it here, but in short it involves a stranger ringing you up and trying to get access to your computer by scaring you into thinking you have a virus and asking you to press these keys. I guessed that they were either trying to infect you “good and proper”, or sell you their anti-virus software.

Happily I saw sense and stopped in plenty of time, but out of interest I told my 91 year-old Dad about this as he enjoys hearing about scams avoided. And I also feel I need to keep them warned about the many telephone scams that there are these days.

So imagine my delight when he rang me up triumphantly a few days ago to tell me that he had received one of these calls and how well he had dealt with it.

He had asked the caller to wait while he moved him to another phone in another room, then told him he didn't know where to find the “Window Key”, also it was quite high up so he needed to fetch something to stand on – that was out in the garage. Then he asked for a detailed explanation of how to switch on a computer and where all the necessary buttons were as his daughter usually looked after all computers.

When he'd spent a good twenty minutes talking to the caller, he mentioned the fact that he didn't actually have a computer but it had been interesting chatting and learning so much about computers and the dangers of viruses – perhaps he should get the doctor to check him over at his next appointment.

Surprisingly enough the caller put the phone down on him!

Well done Dad 🙂

Another approach I've heard about how to frustrate these callers is to play along for a while then proudly admit you have an Apple Mac – on which none of this works. Can't comment on any Mac technicalities as I don't have one.

To be honest I don't have time to waste on the “play along” approach, but it gave my Dad the best fun he'd had in months and a good story to relate.

More seriously, if you DO have elderly (or young) relatives with computers, please warn them not to fall for this telephone scam and hopefully it will eventually die out.