Scammers have ramped up their operations over the past few months with more Australians reporting they have been targeted over the telephone. These scammers are enjoying success in Australia largely due to the use of online databases which have contact information about users computers including serial numbers.
A normal phone call from a scammer will start by them introducing themselves and stating for which company they work (most of the time during these scams, it is Microsoft). The scammer will start by mentioning your full name and offering information about your computer to make you believe that they actually are from Microsoft. Once your trust has been gained, they will either offer you free software to fix a problem on your computer, or they’ll offer to fix your computer problem for a fee, when in fact, there is no issue with your computer.
So how can you avoid this scam?
The answer is to simply hang up. No computer company will call you out of the blue to charge you for software or security upgrades. If, however, you receive a call which you believe may be legitimate, ask the caller for their name and/or employee identification number and say that you’ll call them back. If they hesitate, just hang up, if they give you their information, make sure to call them back on a number which you find in a phonebook or on a trusted website, such as Microsoft’s official website.
If you believe one of these scammers has attempted to contact you, or you’ve fallen victim to their attacks, report it to the SCAMwatch website, or call them on 1300 795 995.
For more information about scams in Australia, visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) website.