Gardai in Thurles have warned online shoppers to on the alert for a scam which allows hackers to access personal computers.
Scammers, claiming to be from Microsoft and other respected technology companies, are contacting consumers to falsely inform them that their computers have a virus. The cyber criminals then persuade the victim to download a file, which allows the scammers to gain access to their computer. This, in turn, allows the criminals to access the victim's personal details, including financial information.
John Shine of the National Consumer Agency warns: "As economic times get tougher, there are increasing numbers of scammers out there. Consumers need to be vigilant, and anyone seeking to get personal or financial details from you in any situation that doesn't feel right should be treated with the utmost suspicion. This is true whether you are on the phone, online or in person,"
He also verified that no legitimate technology company would cold call customers to tell them there is a problem with their computers.