It’s official – the Queensland state Police have investigated complaints and found the Support On Click offering is a scam (when they call and pretend to be Microsoft). Here is the official press release, with a link to the police website: http://www.police.qld.gov.au/News+and+Alerts/Media+Releases/2009/04/New+scam+targets+computer+users.htm
The Queensland Police Service has issued a warning about a new scam targeting computer users.
The scam involves people taking a call from a person working at a foreign call centre. The victim receives a call from the offender, who claims to belong to a software support company that has been requested by Microsoft to fix problems on the victim’s computer.
The offender confirms the victim’s computer has sent error messages to Microsoft regarding problems with their Windows Explorer.
The offender will then direct the victim through a process on their computer ultimately giving the offender remote access to the computer to download Trojans or gain access to personal information.
Once the offender has gained access, they will then give or sell the victim software in order to prevent this problem in the future. The victim, instead of downloading anti-virus software, will unknowingly be installing a virus on their computer which may be used to gather credit card data.
Ms Julie Inman Grant, Asia-Pacific Director for Internet Safety for Microsoft, confirmed that the company is not contacting its customers in regards to the matter and has advised computer users to exercise caution.
“Microsoft will never cold-call a customer and request access to their computer system. Nor do we direct third-party support companies to do so,” said Ms Inman Grant.
“In this case, the callers are misrepresenting that they are from Microsoft when in fact they are not,” she said.
Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the State Crime Operations Command Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said this new scam was just another example of offenders preying on the vulnerabilities of victims.
“This scam has the potential to work, as the victim may let down their guard when told by the offender they have specific knowledge of error messages on their system. This gives the victim confidence in the caller, which in turn opens the door to fraud,” Detective Superintendent Hay said.
Members of the community are reminded to do their homework before buying from people who call on the phone or make contact via the internet.
For more information on fraud prevention, including hints and tips, visit the Queensland Police website at www.police.qld.gov.au