TROWBRIDGE man Brian Mitchell is warning others about the dangers of a computer scam after almost losing £4,000 when hackers gained access to his bank account.

The 75-year-old, of Pitman Avenue, got a phone call from someone claiming to be from TalkTalk, whose router he had been having problems with.

The former Grenadier Guardsman said: “I normally put the phone down on these calls but when he said ‘we’re from TalkTalk and we’ve noticed you’ve been having these problems’, I started to listen before I went on my computer and started doing what he was saying.

“When I was speaking with them I was getting a little bit worried though so I asked them ‘can you give me my account number?’, and sure enough they had my TalkTalk account number.

“At that point the suspicion I had went away because why would I question them when they gave me my number.

“After two hours on my computer they offered me some sort of software for £5 and I was told to send the money across online. I thought this doesn’t sound right but I was in the hands of the experts.”

After unknowingly allowing the scammers access to his bank account, Mr Mitchell was told to take the battery out of his phone and switch his computer off overnight so the problem could be fixed and he would be contacted the next day.

But within hours Mr Mitchell had been called by his bank, Lloyds TSB, who had stopped two payments of £750 and £3,000 from been taken out of his account by Western Union.

“I thought I was bullet proof to this sort of thing but I’m just relieved about the money and also relieved that these computer programmes have been removed,” Mr Mitchell added.

“I got a guy I know to look at it and they had put several programs in which could look at everything but thankfully they’ve been cleaned out.

“I was suspicious and I would say to people even if you only get a minute’s suspicious thought, to put the phone down.”

TalkTalk suffered a breach of its security earlier this year, with a number of customer’s names and account numbers stolen. A spokesman said: “We take our customers’ security seriously, although we know a small number of customers are being targeted by phone scammers, using a limited amount of customer data that was accessed illegally.

“Over the last few months we have contacted our entire base on two separate occasions to tell them what had happened and let them know how they can protect themselves."

“We have warnings on our website, including a dedicated security hub area containing clear, detailed information about how customers can keep themselves safe.”