My Monday morning lie-in was ruined by a telephone call from Andrew. Andrew has called many times before, usually at inconvenient moments like when I am…ahem…visiting the bathroom, watching an important football match on telly or having my dinner. And he didn’t mean well. Andrew was calling to hack my computer. Andrew is Asian, too, and with his thick Asian accent you sense immediately suspect there is something wrong. In my semi-groggy state, today I decided to go along with it.

Andrew was very concerned. He was from Windows, you see, and he was going to help me remove some serious viruses. I acted dumb, which is in any event my default position.

“Are you at your computer?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Can you see windows?
“Yes.”
“What can you see?”

It was at this point I went into what we experts call take-the-piss mode.

“I am looking at my windows and I can see my car on the drive, a neighbour walking her dog and a local glazing company at work with the lovely lady who lives on the corner.”

I sensed some agitation.

“No, no. Windows on your computer. Microsoft.”
“But I don’t have windows on my computer. There’s just a screen. What’s a Microsoft?”

Silence. Had Andrew hung up?

“Is your computer turned on?”
“Yes.”
“Can you click on…”

I’d had enough by now.

“Just wait there whilst I check something.”
“Okay.”

I then reached for my personal alarm screecher which is hellishly loud and put it by the phone.

“Did you get the message? Do not call this number again.” I replaced the receiver. But he will ring again and he will ring lots of people until he gets what he wants.

In a previous job, I was working with an elderly lady, trying to get back on her feet. Andrew, or someone like him, had convinced her to carry out the actions on her laptop that he wanted. After a few minutes, things were happening. things were being moved around and not by her. Luckily, she used her laptop only to send emails and to do puzzles and she had subsequently contacted both the police and a computer expert who had cleansed said machine. But it was a warning to her.

Whenever anyone calls on my landline, I know it’s going to be Andrew or one of his crooked friends so I am well prepared. Whilst I am not a computer expert, my middle aged senses are not so dulled that I cannot see a scam when it is put in front of me. Parasites like Andrew would not continue pestering people if they did not get significant results and having spoken to a police officer friend, rather a lot of, mainly elderly and/or vulnerable people are shafted by people like him.

Andrew is the lowest form of life, exploiting honest, decent but vulnerable folk and in an ideal world, he’d get his lights punched out by one of the people he scammed. The likelihood is that he won’t be caught and he’ll just carry on forever. He ruins life, does Andrew, so please don’t do anything he tells you, but if you have a spare five minutes, wind him up something rotten and play something very loud down the phone when he is least expecting it. I want to do my bit to make him go deaf so he can’t carry on with his evil little game. Waste his time and help make him go deaf. It’s what he would have wanted.