Leicester Police Warn Of Computer Virus Scams

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Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley. Photo Credit: Daniel Castro

LEICESTER, Mass. — Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley is advising residents to be aware of scam phone calls targeting the area after a resident received a call from a person claiming there was a virus on their computer.

Hurley said the resident was called early Thursday morning shortly after midnight.

"They stated there were bad files on the resident's computer, and that it was hooked into a Windows mainframe," said the chief, who added that the resident then hung up on the caller.

Hurley explained that, in the past, these callers have tried to get information from their targets, get remote access to their computers or sell them a fix.

"Windows will not contact you by phone," said Hurley, who advised residents to be cautious about calls like these and to instead call their software vendor directly if they believe there is a problem.

The chief said computer hijacking has become more prevalent, with people looking to gain access to personal computers remotely and then use them for illegal activities.

"We had one where someone hijacked a computer off a dating website," recalled Hurley. "A person met somebody online and allowed them access to their computer — they get access and then they're doing stuff all over the world that comes back to your computer while they're using an anonymous IP address."

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