Recent months have seen a surge in reports of scammers calling people at home and raising a false alarm that they are at risk of their internet being disconnected immediately, as their computer has been hacked or infected with malware and is threatening Telstra’s internet infrastructure. The caller claims that they are able to fix the problem on the spot, however a fee for this service will need to be paid and the person will also need to download software that will allow the caller remote access to their computer.
If the person resists or questions the scammer, they up the ante. Scammers have reportedly threatened to sue people for putting Telstra’s infrastructure at risk.
When the person has requested proof that they are a Telstra rep, scammers have given out a fake number for Telstra which, when the consumer calls, puts them back on the line with the scammer. These scammers are also well-versed at creating a sense of urgency to incite fear and anxiety that your device has been compromised and must be fixed immediately.
If you provide your credit card details and give remote access to your computer, the scammer may not only take more than the stated ‘fee’, but also infect your computer to gain access to your personal information and commit other acts of fraud.
Scammers often pose as well-known and reputable businesses to try and convince you that they’re the real deal, with Telstra a popular target. Scammers pretending to be from Telstra have been known to switch consumers to another service provider that the consumer did not knowingly agree to.
Scammers don’t just fish for your details over the phone; they also send phishing emails pretending to be from Telstra or BigPond® to try to get you to hand over your account details, or to click on a link or open a document infected with malware.
The ‘Yellow Pages’ directory scam has also targeted Australian small businesses, with scammers deceiving them to sign up to an online business directory service that falsely claims to be affiliated with Sensis and Telstra.
If you receive a call out of the blue from someone claiming to represent Telstra and they ask for access to your computer, just hang up.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444 orPolicelink.qld.gov.au 24hrs a day.
Tags: Scammers pretending to be from telstra