An experienced computer technician gave a workshop in St Andrew’s Church, Witchford, on Saturday November 18.

Using the church’s screen facilities, Dan Cinelli was able to demonstrate how to distinguish some of the most plausible scam emails.

He advised us that it is OK to open what looks like a scam email, but on no account should you  click on anything inside the email. 

He described a number of scams, such as the one which purports to be from a member of the family, supposedly stranded in a far off country, having to borrow a friend’s phone and ask for money.

Whatever you do, he says, do not answer, rather, phone the member of the family concerned.

We should use the same method with scam emails from our banks, - phone the bank before acting on the demands of the email.  

Ely Standard: Dan Cinelli, experienced computer technician, gave a workshop in St Andrew’s Church, Witchford, on November 18.Dan Cinelli, experienced computer technician, gave a workshop in St Andrew’s Church, Witchford, on November 18. (Image: Rosemary Westwell)

He described a new QR code scam. The QR codes set up in car parks can have a different one pasted over them, so the drivers unwittingly give money to the scammer and only realize this when they are fined for not paying parking fees.  

Scam messages can often be detected because there can be spelling, grammar and or punctuation errors.

The pictures are fuzzy and company logos, or even the names of the firms are not exactly correct – there may be one letter difference. 

Scammers often pretend to be a new friend, a diplomatic agent, or a solicitor handling a huge estate of which you are a beneficiary.

Some scams are particularly resourceful and can send, for example, an email from Microsoft, even providing an IP address from the United States.  

The professional hacker can steal your information and then threaten you that they will broadcast your personal information unless you pay into their bitcoin account. All this is fake, he says, do not respond.  

He described how he often supports his 91-year old father who is in the USA by using ’Team viewer’ which allows him to take over his father’s computer and sorts it out for him while his Dad watches with much relief and admiration.  

After this informative talk, we had tea, coffee and biscuits thanks to Alison le Gallais Redfearn, while there was a one-to-one session with personal computer problems.  

If you would like to contact Dan with a computer problem, contact him on 07516150597 or email