A COMPUTER virus threat has led to a warning from Isle of Wight Council trading standards officers.
The GameOver Zeus virus, which has affected people across the country and abroad, is typically spread by cyber criminals, who create a website that installs the virus on any unprotected computer that visits it, a council spokesman said.
It can also be distributed by e-mails, designed to look as though they have come from a legitimate source, the council warned.
"With this current virus threat, our trading standards service is warning residents to take care if they receive an unsolicited phone call about any virus on their computer.
"Typically, the scammer will ring and ask for the householder, normally quoting their name, to make the call seem genuine. They will then claim they work for a computer company, most likely Microsoft, as they know this is the software most people use.
"The caller will then tell their intended victim that they have received a report from their internet service provider of serious virus problems on the computer," said the spokesman.
The scammer may then access and steal personal information from the victim’s computer or control it remotely for illegal or harmful purposes.
The council warned: "If you receive a phone call that you believe may be a scam, do not engage in conversation and hang up immediately. If you receive a similar notification by email or text message, do not open the link and delete it.
"If you feel pressured to act, disclose personal details or send money to a stranger, this will certainly be a scam. Contact our trading standards service on 821000 if you think you have been targeted by a scammer."