Remote access fraud costs Australians over USD 4 million

Monday 27 August 2018 10:55 CET | News

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recorded an increase in the number of remote access scams being reported.

Thus, the Australian consumer watchdog’s has received more than 8000 reports of scammers impersonating well-known businesses and even the police in order to gain access to victims’ computers and online banking accounts, with losses totalling USD 4.4 million so far in 2018. Moreover, according to ACCC’s deputy chair this year’s losses have already surpassed those for the whole of 2017.

Fraudsters often claim to be representatives from the likes of Telstra, NBNco, or Microsoft who are tracking down fictitious hackers or scammers and need access to a victim’s computer via software such as TeamViewer. Often they tell consumers their own computer has been compromised and is being used to send fraudulent messages.

With the victim’s help, they claim, they can use their computer and online banking to trap the non-existent scammer.
The ACCC said the real scammer will then pretend to deposit money into a victim’s account, while actually just shuffling funds between the victim’s own accounts to give the illusion of money being deposited.

The victim’s money is then sent out in a ruse that pretends to bait the hook to catch the fictitious scammer. But in reality, it’s just going straight into the real scammers own account.

As an advice, it is crucial that people remember they should never, ever, give an unsolicited caller access to their computer, and under no circumstances offer their personal, credit card or online account details over the phone.

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Keywords: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, ACCC, fraud prevention, Australia, online security, online banking, remote access
Countries: World