The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned of a significant spike in remote access scams, in which scammers impersonate well-known organisations to get access to their victim’s computers.
The most common organisations impersonated by scammers include Telstra, NBN, Microsoft and the Police.
Ironically, the impersonators tell their victims they are at risk of being hacked in order to gain remote access to their computers using software such as TeamView.
Once they have remote access, they are able to infiltrate online bank accounts.
The ACCC has recorded more than 8000 cases of scams using this tactic across Australia this year, resulting in loses totaling $4.4m.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Richard today labelled the trend ‘very concerning’.
“Losses so far in 2018 have already surpassed those for the whole of 2017, and sadly it is older Australians that are losing the most money,” Mrs Rickard said.
“The scammers are becoming more sophisticated. The old trick scammers used to use was to call people and say there was a virus on their computer that needed fixing but, in a new twist, scammers are now telling people they need their help to catch hackers,” she said.
Anyone who receives a call from someone requesting remote access to their computer should just hang up.