Scam targeting seniors

THE FRASER Coast’s computer-using seniors are the latest victims of an internet security scam.

Senior Constable Milton Leitch has urged people to be vigilant with a scam that Hervey Bay computer technician Andrew Townsin has reported to Crime Stoppers.

Mr Townsin said older customers had regularly spoken of the telephone-based credit card scam, which involved a group claiming to be from an online computer company cold calling victims at home, asking them to log on to their computers and to load the company’s website.

On doing so, victims are asked to run programs that give the impression there is something wrong with their computers. The offenders then offer to sell the victims software they claim will fix their computers, however victims are unknowingly downloading software that trawls the computer looking for personal information including credit card details.

Scammers are also making calls to potential victims saying they work for Microsoft and need to gain remote access to the victim’s computer to fix a bug in the system.

Unwary victims who provide this remote access are literally handing their computer and control of it to offenders who could use it to steal their personal and financial information, plant keylogger trojans (software planted on the system to record keystrokes such as passwords or log ins) or use the computer to attack other machines or systems.

Snr Const. Leitch said computer users needed to be careful of anti-virus pop ups and to check on anything before hitting “accept”.

“Do not respond to messages or emails from anti-virus companies offering to run free scans on your computer or reminding you that your system requires its annual subscription upgrade.

“These scams are now recognised as the third most successful scams in the world.

“Unsuspecting victims, thinking they are doing the right thing, are not only infecting their computers with potential malware (software planted on your computer that can be used to retrieve data or take control of your computer), but potentially surrendering their identity and credit card details.”

If anyone has a concern with their computer, they should contact a Coast computer expert.

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