ELDERLY computer users are being warned of a scam which could cost them hundreds of pounds.

People are being contacted by callers who tell them they can fix their PC remotely.

One victim, 73-year-old widow Janice Fuidge, said she was on the phone to one operator, claiming to be from Microsoft, for up to half-an-hour while he controlled her laptop remotely before she even typed her bank details in to pay £165 for the work.

A local computer firm says callers like this are likely to be con artists.

“I never thought I would fall for that – this has really spooked me,” said Janice, who lives on her own in Stratton.

“The man said they had noticed I had a lot of errors on my computer, which was true and I knew that. I didn’t contact anyone about it though. He did not say how much it would cost but I gave them my details and they took over my computer remotely.

“Then he said I had to pay £165 and I went to get my card details and put them in. I did it three times and my bank wouldn’t accept it because I don’t have online banking.

“The man stayed on the phone the whole time. He even told me to ring my bank and left about four or five messages for me – he became quite stroppy in the end.

“I’m not good with computers and I called Shane (of SP Computers) who said it was a scam. They must have thought I was an easy target.”

SP Computers, which has been running in Swindon for nearly 12 years, has said it has noticed a huge increase in the number of customers worried about nuisance calls and viruses.

Director Shane Perring said the scam targeted pensioners by preying on their inexperience with technology and computer firms, such as Microsoft, would not call out of the blue to fix problems.

“This seems to be on quite a big scale,” he said. “We have seen a massive increase in this sort of thing in the last six months.

“They can even install programs that log bank details, so we just wipe the computers completely.

“If anyone is in doubt they can call us and we can advise them.”

Wiltshire Police have warned computer users to be aware of scams and contact experts if they are unsure.

They recommend several tips for online safety including: Protecting your computer from viruses.

Use legitimate, widely known websites. l Seek professional help if your computer appears to have been affected. If you think you may have been a victim of this type of scam contact SP Computers on 01793 82412 and suspicious incidents should be reported to Wiltshire Police on 101.