Fair Trading Deputy Commissioner Steve Griffin today warned Albury residents to hang up on scam callers offering to fix computer faults.
Mr Griffin said local media and residents had contacted NSW Fair Trading yesterday about the perennial scam.
“Don’t let a scammer scare you into believing your computer is infected with a virus or is sending them error messages,” he said.
“Even if the caller claims to be a representative from Microsoft or another genuine service provider, be very wary of anyone who calls you out of the blue and tries to trick you into letting them gain remote access to your computer.”
Mr Griffin said several variations on this particular scam theme had been reported to SCAMwatch, the website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to provide information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
“Generally the caller claims they suspect your computer is infected and they need remote access to check,” he said.
“If you allow them access, they will then pretend to run a scan and report that your computer is infected.
“The caller will then try to convince you to purchase anti-virus software straight away to remove the infection.
“The fee may be a one-off payment or an ongoing subscription.”
Mr Griffin said as well as losing money to scammers by paying for a service that provides no benefits, consumers’ personal and banking details were also at risk.
“If you give a scammer remote access to your computer, they can infect your computer and acquire your personal information,” he said.
“If you receive a call like this, just hang up and report the incident to consumer protection agencies.
“Call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or go to www.scamwatch.gov.au”
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