Police are issuing a warning to be wary of potential scammers claiming to be Telstra representatives over the phone, in order to coax people into transferring money overseas.
Since late July 2016, Mid North Coast Local Area Command police have received multiple reports that residents of Port Macquarie and Wauchope have taken a phone call from a person claiming to be from Telstra and stating that their computer had been infected with a virus, or that they were investigating fraudulent access to their computer. Remote access has then been granted by the victims to their computer.
Unbeknownst to the victims, a transfer of funds between the victim’s bank accounts has taken place, and the victim is then advised that Telstra has deposited to their bank account in order to assist Telstra to track the person accessing their computer. Once the victim confirms this, the computer ‘crashes’ and the caller requests the victim to deposit the money via Western Union to varying overseas Country bank accounts.
Police are warning members of the public to be wary of any contact over the phone, and urge members of the community not to transfer money into the accounts of people they don’t personally know.
The following advice to protect yourself is provided by SCAMWATCH
- If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be a representative of Telstra and their call relates to a problem with your internet connection, just hang up.
- If you have doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on contact details provided by the person – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
- Remember that you can still receive scam calls even if you have a private number or have listed your number on the Australian Government’s Do Not Call Register (link is external). Scammers can obtain your number fraudulently or from anywhere it has been publicly listed such as in a phone book.
- Don’t let scammers press your buttons – scammers use detailed scripts to convince you that they’re the real deal and create a high pressure situation to make a decision on the spot.
- Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
- Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
- Never give a stranger remote access to your computer, even if they claim to be from a reputable business.
- If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
- If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
- If you have lost money as a result of this type of scam please report the matter to your local Police Station.
- You can also report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.