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Technical Support Scam

With this type of scam the fraudster rings you unexpectedly telling you that there is a problem with your computer, modem or internet connection. They may indicate that there is virus on your computer or a problem with the internet connection or modem.  In order to “fix this” they say they need to gain access to the computer and talk you through steps that will fix the problem.

The call is usually used as a way to get you to download malicious software (malware) on to your computer that will track your online activity and pass personal, financial or security information to the fraudster. It can also be used to get you to give your card information in supposed payment for the service provided.

Criminals often use familiar names such as “Microsoft”, “Windows” or “Apple” to make them sound more credible.  On some occasions they have been known to piggy-back on known technical problems that affect a large number of people and that have gained media attention. Taking the time to check if the caller is who they say they are should eliminate the risk.

Key Advice

  1. Be very suspicious of any unsolicited calls offering technical or phone support to fix a problem you didn’t know you had. Never follow instructions given by these callers.
  2. Always independently verify the caller represents the organisation they say they represent before following any instructions.
  3. Don’t be pressured. The caller may try to make you feel foolish, stupid or negligent if you don’t follow their instructions. A genuine company would not contact you in this way and use this tactic.
  4. If you have followed the instructions or have given the caller your bank or card information, contact your bank immediately. Also contact a genuine computer support or repair company to have your device fully checked before you use it again.