Today, the 6th July 2011, via the Twitter stream of Kate Russell (http://twitter.com/katerussell), part of the team on the BBC’s Click technology programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/click), I learn of a new variant on the fake antivirus scam. This one is not delivered via the PC; rather, a call is made to the target by somebody posing as a technician, who talks the target through a supposed infection and remedy, and then asks for payment by credit card (with predictable results). The scam may be targeting older people in particular; however, anyone who might be deceived by such a call is obviously vulnerable.
This is a reliable report: KR is on the staff of a reputable technology-based programme, and reports that her own father received such an approach (so this is not a friend-of-a-friend scare-story). She has promised a blog post with more detail, which I shall link here when it is available.
UPDATE (2011/07/07): Kate Russell has posted a detailed description of the incident, with commentary from Rik Ferguson of computer security firm Trend Micro, here: http://kateclick.posterous.com/the-phone-scam-disconnected