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

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street...

Parties specified under Section 149Q(3) of the RMA now have 20 working days to make comments on minor or technical aspects of the report. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Illegal Search: Police Behaviour 'Reminiscent Of Tūhoe Raids'

"Māori will lose further trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) if the recent incident in Stratford is not adequately addressed. This behaviour would not occur in Epsom or Khandallah so why should police think that such behaviour was acceptable in Stratford," says Chris McKenzie. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news