A PENSIONER from York has warned computer users to be vigilant after he fell prey to a cyber-scam costing him £124.

Alfred Redpath, 71, from Acomb, said he has had to change bank account details and boost his computer security after the fraudsters, who claimed to calling on behalf of software giant Microsoft, gained access to information on his PC.

He said: “They rang me on Monday morning telling me they had been informed by Microsoft that I had a lot of viruses on my computer, but said they could get rid of them for me.”

After allowing remote access to his computer and transferring payment to the fraudsters, Mr Redpath realised he had been the victim of a scam and called the police.

He said: “They have taken £124 off me and they also have access to my computer so they can do anything now.

“Everything is going to have be changed – my bank account details, emails, everything.

“I fell for it but I don’t want other people to.”

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Please don’t be taken in by cold callers, politely decline their services and put the phone down. And don’t ever give your personal details or passwords to anyone.”

She said neither Microsoft nor their partners make unsolicited phone calls to charge for computer security or software fixes.

Police cyber-crime experts said once somebody has given criminals access to their computer, victims could be tricked into installing malicious software which captures data, such as online banking user names and passwords.

Other scams include requesting credit card information then charging for non-exixtent services.

Victims could also be directed to fraudulent websites asking for credit card and other personal or financial information.