Scam reports high

With scammers posing as well-known companies such as Microsoft and the Yellow Pages in order to convince consumers to hand over bank account details, how do you know when an approach is genuine?

It is important to remember that no company should ever ask for your bank account details by email or over the phone and that under no circumstances should you divulge this information.

Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 6770 reports of scams during the last year and urges anyone who has been a victim of scam to report it immediately. Police are urging phone users to simply hang up if the caller appears suspicious, or asks for private information.

One of the most commonly reported scams over the last year had scammers posing as Microsoft professionals. Individuals victimised by these scammers were contacted by phone and told that their computer was infected by a virus.

The scammers insisted on being allowed remote access (the ability to access your computer hard drive from another user’s computer) to fix the problem and while they were there, they used this access to steal bank information. Sometimes these scammers even went as far as charging individuals for the service.

Other scammers will insist that you are owed money or compensation and ask for your bank details so that they are able to “deposit” this money directly into your bank account. Scammers pose as government organisations, banks, reputable organisations and overseas lottery companies.

 

What should you look out for?

  • Scammers posing as reputable organisations such as Yellow Pages or Microsoft
  • Scammers offering refunds for overcharged bank fees asking for your account information
  • Anyone from an unknown source who asks for remote access to your computer

If you know anyone who has become a victim to these scams, contact the police for assistance or read more about precautions at SCAMwatch.

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