Phone scammers targetting seniors

100 Mile Free Press

  • Feb. 7, 2011 8:00 p.m.

100 Mile Free Press

Telephone scammers continue to hit South Cariboo residents in the pocketbook.

In 100 Mile House, Carefree Manor manager Mel Torgerson says four or five senior residents have been recently targeted with the “grandparents scam,” and a couple of them fell for it.

The scammers typically say “hey [grandpa or grandma], guess who this is.” Then when the senior provides a grandchild’s name, the scammers say it is and launch into a false, but potentially heart-rending story, with a plea for money because they are “in big trouble.”

Torgerson says he hopes people will help educate and remind their elderly family members about the scam, especially those living on their own.

Jason Maisonet of The Computer Whisperer says several clients have been hit by scammers identifying themselves as Virtual PC Doctor.

Maisonet says the callers prompt people to type in a web address that will infect their PC, and then type in a code at (never visit this address) that gives hackers complete access to personal computer files and banking information.

The scammers then ask for a credit card number to “clean up” the infected files. Then they fraudulently access files and use the Internet connection for costly online services.

First time computer users are more easily duped, he said.