The Queensland Police Service Fraud and Cyber Crime Group (FCCG) is warning the public about phone scams as part of National Consumer Fraud Week.
The group has been receiving regular complaints from members of the public after receiving phone calls by people attempting them to defraud them.
One very common complaint is a person representing themselves as being from a respected company such as Telstra or Microsoft. The caller tells their intended victim that there is a problem with their computer that requires the caller to remotely log into the victims’ computer to fix the alleged problem.
The caller informs the victim that there is indeed a problem with their computer and because they are outside the warranty they will be able to service the issue for a fee. This fee may vary from $100 to $600 and payment is requested via credit card.
Once the caller is given access to the computer by the victim, they may install malicious software on the computer that gives access to the computer at any time, and allows them to capture sensitive usernames and passwords that can be used to access the victims’ accounts such as banking, finance, web based email or their place of work. These callers will generally have a foreign accent – typically Indian.
Queenslanders have also been receiving calls from persons offering investment opportunities in arbitrage systems, stocks or betting programs offering high yield returns.
“People are often sent professionally produced glossy brochures, are elevated through the investment program to more senior account managers, and may even be granted their own online account which allows the investor to log in and view their investment portfolio generating income and performing well – allegedly. This online viewing instills confidence in the investor who may then introduce friends and relatives to the opportunity and it is not uncommon for investors to borrow against their mortgage to increase their investment.
“When receiving unsolicited calls strongly considering terminating the call. If you do engage in conversation take their name and number, do some online research and call them back. Do not take comfort simply by the fact the number commences with 02 or 03 it may still very much be a fraudster on the other end of the phone call,” Detective Superintendent Hay of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group warns, “
The Office of Fair Trading is involved in this year’s National Consumer Fraud Week and advises consumers to know who they’re dealing with.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer states, “Never provide personal, credit card or online details over the phone unless you made the call. Scammers often pose as well-known and reputable businesses to try to convince you that they’re the real deal.”
Any investment entity should be checked with ASIC to ensure they hold the appropriate license, again check the internet for adverse comments and ALWAYS seek independent legal and financial advice prior to making any investment decision.
More information about National Consumer Fraud Week can be found at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au.
Contact the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group if you wish to discuss your circumstances on 07 3364 6622.
Queensland Police Fraud and Cyber Crime Group