Expat retirees in Spain warned over cold calling internet scam

Published:  6 Jul at 6 PM
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British expats living in Spain are at risk from scamming cold-callers originating in Indian call centres.

Yet another internet scam is targeting British expats living, retiring or working in Spain’s Costa del Sol region. The cold-calling crooks pretend they’re from Microsoft as regards fixing a non-existent computer issue. Many thousands of expatriates are receiving the calls, which either claim the recipient’s Windows programme is an illegal copy or it’s infected with a computer virus. The expat recipients, mostly elderly and unsure about internet-related issues, are told to make a payment allowing the caller to fix the ‘problem’.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this scam has been used on unsuspecting older expatriates, with several others having been seen over the past decades, all of which have originated in India. Indian police are well aware of the scammers’ modus operandum and regularly close down the offending companies, but new sites with different owners are known to pop up almost immediately.

One young, unemployed Indian computer tech specialist told Spanish media how the scammers operate, as he’d been duped into taking work with the company. He’d been unemployed in India for some while when a friend told him of a company where he could earn good money for easy work, and when he applied he was informed the job involved telesales to customers in the USA. However, during his training he became aware of the scam, but was unable to back out as he needed to earn money to live.

Cold-calling scams of this type have been doing the rounds for as long as the internet has existed and have caught many inexperienced expat retirees in locations across the world. The only way to stay protected against the scammers is to totally ignore all cold callers, whatever their sales pitch and however tempting it sounds, as it’s invariably the personification of the old saying as in ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it is’!
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