Covid-19 Phone Scams
Covid-19 has brought a new wave of phone scams that often lead to criminals requesting you download software and the caller claim to be from reputable organisations (telcos, utility providers, banks, online shopping services etc) and will ask you very well constructed questions to convince you they are legitimate.
The good ones will take their time allowing you to feel safe with them and that is when they will start their cleverly constructed plan to take your money and we have listed a few of the most recent scams below for you to be aware of.
Computer Desktop Scam
Your caller will be telling you they are from Microsoft or another reputable company and that you have a virus on your computer. They will cleverly guide you to open up your computer and take you to areas that you do not know.
They may also talk about covid-19 in your area to put you more at ease and by doing this, your desire to get rid of the problem increases and probably at the point that you will do anything to get rid of the virus screen they have just placed.
If this happens; Hang up straight away as no software company will ever call you.
You may receive a call or an email saying that you have a debt with the ATO and you need to call them. This is very well constructed and they will ask you the ref/id number in that email.
Once you give them the number they will put you on hold. The silence for you lets you stew over this debt and because of their cleverly constructed scam, you eventually hand over your payment details.
They will even show empathy and ask about how covid-19 affected you and for you to call back after you have checked that you have had enough money to pay your debt.
Even if you don’t call back in your agreed time, they will call eventually.
If this happens; Hang up straight away as the ATO will ever call you.
Again, since covid-19 there has been an increased number of calls being made to vunerable people and when answered, the caller hangs up. By having what looks like an Australian phone number, your desire to find out who it is, is increased and you call them back. When they answer the time you spend is reducing your data and credit and remote access software allows scammers some highly sofisticated scammers to view information on your mobile. It will even allow them to control your device by using genuine products such as TeamViewer or Access Assist software is a computer is used.
If this happens; Do not call back.
Be particularly vigilant if their cleaverly constructed scam tactic eventually asks you to disclose any banking details whatsoever.
Sometimes this next advise can be tricky but, advise your loved ones of the possibility that the lovely and total stranger on the other end of the phone should not be believed.
You can help to prevent scams by doing the following:
Never download software at the request of an unsolicited caller.
Hang up on unsolicited callers and check if a story is real by calling the legitimate organisation on their advertised number. Never share your personal or financial information, this includes your passwords or security codes.
Follow your gut feeling.
If you have been caught out in the past or had a suspicious call, report it to scamwatch by clicking on the ACCC image below or for a tax scam click on the ATO lower image.
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