Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Scam warning - please read.


I am taking the liberty of writing this personal email to everyone in my address book.  Please take the time to read it and to then pass it onto as many others as you can.

This week I've become aware of two separate incidents where intelligent people I know have fallen for a current phone call scam doing the rounds.  The scam itself has cost them at least a couple of hundred dollars, then another couple to have their computer fixed, not mention a possible emptying of their bank account.

Details from the excellent government Scamwatch site are below however there are some simple basic rules to follow:

1. NEVER disclose your bank card, or bank details or passwords to ANY UNSOLICITED phone calls or emails.  I don't care if it is Bill Gates, the CEO of Telstra or the Pope himself phoning you.  You have absolutely no proof that the person calling is who they say they are, or who they say they work for.  (If you really feel you have to give them your bank or bankcard details then please give them to me first so I can clean you out!)

2. NEVER give another person remote or local access to your computer unless you absolutely know who they are and what they are doing.  Preferably only from a phone call that you initiate.  Once someone has access to your computer they can do anything from copying personal and finance details and passwords to installing viruse(s) that get armed should you fail to play ball.

3. Install and keep your anti-virus software up to date.  There are several totally free ones around.  I use the free Microsoft Security Essentials which is highly regarded and free to download from the Internet

4. Obtain and read the freely available and excellent government publication called 'The Little Black Book of Scams'.  You can download it, or they will very quickly post you up to 100 copies of it for free, from links on this site.  Give it to your friends, neighbours or anyone else.
has received reports of a new twist on the computer remote access scam with callers now claiming to be from (or affiliated with) Telstra or BigPond.
This is a variation on an existing scam in which scammers operating out of what reports suggest to be overseas call centres, falsely claim to be making tech support calls from Microsoft or Windows.
How the scam works

  • You receive a scam call out of the blue and the caller claims to be from a large telecommunications or computer company/brand such as Telstra, BigPond, Microsoft or Windows.
  • Alternatively they may claim to be from a technical support service provider.
  • They tell you that your computer has been sending them error messages or that it has a virus.
  • They may mention false problems with your internet connection or your phone line which they say may have affected your phone and computer's recent performance. They may also claim that your broadband connection has been hacked.
  • They will request remote access to your computer and if you say yes, will run a 'scan' that shows up a fake virus. 
  • They will try to trick you into buying unnecessary software or a service to 'fix' the computer. They may also ask you for your personal and bank/credit card details.
  • The scammer may initially sound professional and knowledgeable however they will be very persistent and may become abusive if you don't do what they ask.
  • Note: you don't have to be a Telstra or Microsoft customer to be called by these scammers. You don't even have to own a computer!
Protect yourself
  • Telstra has advised that it does not request credit card details over the phone to fix computer or telephone technical problems, and that it is not affiliated with any companies that do. Telstra will also not call requesting personal details.
  • If you receive a phone call out of the blue about your computer and requesting remote access -hang up – even if they mention a well-known company such as Telstra.
  • NEVER give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer. 
  • If you have given remote access to your computer, or you fear that your computer has been hacked, seek out help or advice from a qualified and reputable computer technician. 
  • 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. 
  • Make sure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall - research first and only purchase software from a source that you know and trust. 
  • If you have fallen victim to a scam or you receive a lot of unsolicited emails and phone calls consider changing your email address and phone numbers. 
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
ReportYou can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam 
page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.
More information
Stay one step ahead of scammers - visit the SCAMwatch website
, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit

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Computer remote access scammers now masquerading as Telstra - new twist

View radar online

Added: August 2011

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Keith Harvey
Muswellbrook Seniors Computer Club:
My Soapbox:

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