Fake Microsoft technicians on remote access rampage

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Fake Microsoft technicians on remote access rampage

Western Australian Consumer Protection issues warning.

Scammers posing as Microsoft technicians continue to dupe Australians into parting with their money, the Western Australian Department of Commerce has warned.

The Western Australian Consumer Protection body issued the fresh warning to consumers after hundreds of dollars were paid to over-the-phone scammers.

The Department has received more than 155 enquiries in the last three months about the scam, which involved an unsolicited telephone call by a "technician" pretending to fix system errors.

The department warned that recipients may be asked to log onto a website which could give the scammer remote access to your computer.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said there was a clear need to issue a fresh warning.

"We have also heard of a random pop-up which falsely claims to offer a Microsoft system upgrade and then installs unwanted software.

"Some consumers have been asked to pay between $125 and $220 by credit card for a system upgrade available for free online," she said. 

Despite previous warnings, the spokesperson for the Department said it was a national problem with consumer watchdog the ACCC and Microsoft having previously sounded alarm bells. 

WA ScamNet advises:

  • Never let unknown third parties access your computer.
  • Regularly scan PCs with an up to date virus detection program.
  • Do not be fooled by legitimate sounding organisation names like "Windows Security" or "Windows Service Centre".
  • If you have let a potential scammer access your computer you should consider having it inspected by a reputable technician to ensure it can no longer be logged onto remotely and is free from malicious software.
  • If you've paid money to these scammers via credit card seek a charge back from your financial institution
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