Scams

Phone | Online

scam-alert

Think about this – would you let a man that knocks on your front door and says he is from Microsoft into your home to look at your computer – No? Then don’t let them do it remotely!

Microsoft/Telstra Phone Scam: Coming to a landline near you. Microsoft/Telstra will NEVER EVER Phone you – please be aware of this.

If your number is in the White Pages – you could be the next victim of the Microsoft/Telstra Phone Scam, that is of course, if you haven’t been contacted already.

The scam itself has been making the rounds for years now, however with short breaks in between each batch of phone calls across Australia, there are also several modifications of this scam so you do need to be aware of every version.

Here are the most common Microsoft/Telstra phone scams occurring across Australia:

1. You receive a call from a Microsoft /Telstra technician advising you have a virus on a computer.

Who they target: The elderly and stay at home parents – well anyone actually.

What they lead you to believe: Your computer has downloaded a virus and in order to fix this they direct you to either an online site or get you to input certain things inside your computer that comes up with information that tells you there are things wrong with your computer – we can do that too – show you all these “bad” things with your system, but actually they aren’t bad, its just computer terminology. Alternatively they request your credit card details to pay for the anti-virus software.

The Truth: The site they direct you to either contains the virus (which can record your keystrokes) or alternatively they will engage in steps with you to allow them full access to your computer (and your personal information). Once they have obtained your personal details or banking information it allows them to conduct identity theft or charge unsolicited fees on your card.

Most people are very cautious on their computers. Albeit it downloading carefully, surfing the internet carefully, not opening certain emails that look suspicious, and in all cases, exceptionally careful when doing internet banking and using eBay etc. BUT if they receive a call from Microsoft (or another computer company) they will most likely listen to what they have to say. My advice – HANG UP ON THEM!! There is no easy way around this.

IF you do let them into your computer you are opening yourself up to a world of problems. They could be trying to infiltrate your banking username and passwords, or trying to get your passwords etc for email fraud. The list is endless for what they can do to you. Some people pay them for FREE programs. Whatever it is that they do – it is most certainly ONLY advantages to THEM – NEVER YOU!!

If you have let one of these people into your computer, please – contact us to rectify the “back-door” to your computer that they have created.

Microsoft/Telstra warned Australians to be wary of a phone scam that has left some victims hundreds of dollars out of pocket. Scammers are using several well-known brands, including Microsoft, to fool people into believing that something is wrong with their computers. The scam typically unfolds in the following manner:

  • A cold caller, claiming to be a representative of Microsoft, one of its brands or a third party contracted by Microsoft, tells the victim they are checking into a computer problem, infection or virus that has been detected by Microsoft.
  • They tell the victim they can help and direct them to a website that then allows the scammers to take remote control of the computer.
  • The cold caller will then spend some time on the computer trying to demonstrate where the ‘problems’ are and in the process convinces the victim to pay a fee for a service that will fix the computer.

“In reality, there is nothing wrong with your computer but the scammer has tricked the consumer into believing there is a problem and that paying the fee is the best way to get it fixed. Often they will also push the customer to buy a one year computer maintenance subscription.  They are just trying to scam innocent Australians out of money,” said Stuart Strathdee, Microsoft Australia’s chief security advisor. Strathdee also said that the callers presented themselves in a professional manner and sounded genuine. “Don’t be fooled, Microsoft is not cold calling consumers in regards to malfunctioning PCs, viruses or any other matter,” he said.  “We strongly advise Australians to simply hang up if they receive a call of this nature and not to respond to any communications from these scammers.

“If you’re not sure, contact Microsoft on 13 20 58 ONLY or the Police” 

ALWAYS CHECK THE NUMBER – NEVER JUST TRUST A CALL BACK

It may not be Microsoft calling – it could be another trusted reputable company such as Telstra or the likes. PLEASE don’t let this happen to you!

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HOW DOES THIS SCAM WORK?

Emails scam targeting BigPond | AGL customers

A scammer contacts you out of the blue pretending to be from a legitimate business such a bank, telephone or internet service provider. You may be contacted by email, social media, phone call, or text message.

spot-fake-emails

Clues for spotting a fake email

The scammer asks you to provide or confirm your personal details. For example, the scammer may say that the bank or organisation is verifying customer records due to a technical error that wiped out customer data. Or, they may ask you to fill out a customer survey and offer a prize for participating.

Alternatively, the scammer may alert you to ‘unauthorised or suspicious activity on your account’. You might be told that a large purchase has been made in a foreign country and asked if you authorised the payment. If you reply that you didn’t, the scammer will ask you to confirm your credit card or bank details so the ‘bank’ can investigate. In some cases the scammer may already have your credit card number and ask you to confirm your identity by quoting the 3 or 4 digit security code printed on the card.

Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is ‘www.realbank.com.au’, the scammer may use an address like ‘www.reallbank.com’. Note the TWO “ll” in reallbank

If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.

Please be safe out there!!