Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


NetSafe warns about rise in cold calling scammers

Fraud Awareness Week 2014: Microsoft NZ and NetSafe warn computer users about a rise in cold calling scammers

AUCKLAND, 5 June 2014 - Microsoft New Zealand and NetSafe are today issuing a warning to home computer users to be alert to a new wave of cold-calling technicians targeting New Zealanders with phone calls about viruses on their computers.

Although the scam has been operating for almost four years, NetSafe’s Digital Project Manager Chris Hails said Fraud Awareness Week was the perfect opportunity to remind Kiwis of this popular scam.

“NetSafe received 50 reports from people around the country who had been called during May by a variety of companies, many of them claiming to be associated with Microsoft or Microsoft-certified,” said Hails.

“We know many Kiwis are wise to this scam and simply hang up. However, five individuals who contacted us in May believed the callers were genuine and ended up paying out between $120 and $470 after giving remote access to their computers and feeling concerned about what they were shown onscreen.”

Russell Craig, Microsoft NZ’s National Technology Officer, says that Microsoft has been making continual efforts over the past few years to alert people to this particular scam via public announcements and through its social media channels.

“To be absolutely clear, we do not receive reports of infected computers and then call people at home. If you do receive such a call, you can be sure it is not someone from Microsoft, and should hang up the phone immediately and report it to NetSafe.”

Hails says NetSafe first received reports about overseas technical support companies cold calling people at home back in August 2010 and has also consistently warned PC users about the scam.

“Low cost VoIP calling services allow the companies to call thousands of people using automated diallers and many of the companies buy local New Zealand phone numbers to add an air of authenticity to their operation,” he says.

“Microsoft has worked hard to alert people to this scam,” said Hails. “We hope that along with their effort, Fraud Awareness Week will encourage more people to do the same and alert friends and family members to this issue so that such scams quickly become a thing of the past.

Hallmarks of the PC doctor scam:

• Overseas caller states they are from Microsoft or a Microsoft certified technician.

• Suggests the victim’s computer is infected and harming others online or that their ISP has identified their system as a problem.

• Will get the computer owner to give the caller remote access using a genuine networking service or website like logmein123 or teamviewer.

• They will use the ‘Event Viewer’ tool on the computer to highlight error messages which are supposedly signs of an infection.

• The cold caller will offer to clean up the infection and/or install security software and provide an ongoing support service costing anywhere up to $500.

How to deal with the overseas cold callers:

• Hang up the phone - engaging with or taunting these companies can lead to you receiving many more calls at all times of the day or night. Some technicians have resorted to threats or abuse to get computer owners to give remote access.

• If you do give access but become suspicious, disconnect the machine from the internet immediately. NetSafe has received some reports of these cold calling companies installing ransomware on the computer to ensure they get paid to unlock the PC.

• If you have previously given remote access, it may pay to check what has been installed on your computer and be certain there is no way for the company to continue accessing your system and files. Consult a trusted local PC technician if unsure.

• If you have paid money to these companies using a credit card, call your bank and discuss your options. If you sent funds via Western Union or another wire transfer service then the money is gone and cannot be recovered.

- ENDS -


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news