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

 

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news