Phony scheme on the rise by cold callers

Beware: Police have issued a warning to residents about a cold call scheme which targets malicious software to be downloaded.
Beware: Police have issued a warning to residents about a cold call scheme which targets malicious software to be downloaded.

Commander of the Fraud and Cybercrime Squad, Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said scammers will continue to come up with “innovative ways” to scam innocent victims but thrmessage remains the same: if in doubt, report it to police.

The latest warning from the NSW Police Force Fraud and Cybercrime Squad is about a cold call scheme, which targets malicious software to be downloaded. 

It is believed the caller asks the victim to download a software program which then shows a number of errors on the computer, due to being hacked. A request for money to be sent overseas is then made indicating it will help local police make arrests. 

“If you have a feeling you have been scammed, inform police and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network and Scamwatch. Stay Smart Online has information on recognising scams and hoaxes,” Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said.

Police urge members of the public to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of being scammed by cold callers:

• Never provide your personal or banking details to a person who cold calls you;

• Be careful what personal information you provide over the phone, even if you are the person who made the call;

• Never provide your financial PIN or account passwords over the phone;

• If you have been cold called on a landline, consider making any further calls on a different phone or check that the line is free by calling someone you know first;

• If you are suspicious about the credentials of a person on the phone, ask questions – what’s their street address, telephone number, Australian Financial Services Number – if they avoid answering

• 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 pressure you – 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 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.