Over the past few weeks I have had an increase of reports of Grenfell Residents falling for Tech Support scams.
The tech support scam is initiated via the telephone. The caller will often pose as a representative from a company such as Telstra or Microsoft and will claim that you have been “hacked” or you have many “errors” on your machine. They will then require immediate action or threaten that your internet will be cut off.
The reverse also happens. Sometime the scam is initialized by the end user calling the scammer. This happens when the end user does a Google search for a phone number, such as Telstra’s, Microsoft’s, or that of their antivirus company, and proceeds to ring the number shown on the first Google results. This is often a scammer, or unrelated company, trying to drum up more business.
This social engineering technique is effective in causing the victim to lower their guard and allow the scammer to remotely access the machine via remote access software. The software they use is legitimate software and it often used by tech support from legitimate companies.
The scammer will offer to “fix” the issues with the machine, in exchange for a fee. This fee does vary between scammers, with a happy medium being agreed on between the scammer and the victim.
If you receive an unsolicited call, offer to call them back. Ask for a name and phone number, but DON’T call them back on that number without confirming the number is correct. If the caller claims to be Telstra, visit the Telstra website and call the number from that site.