Members of the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre have issued a bulletin warning of service scams that are merely ploys to extort money and personal information from unwitting victims.
These scams typically involve individuals who use high-tech-sounding jargon to offer support in areas of telecommunications, Internet, finance, or medical and energy services, sometimes including such offers as extended warranties.
Investigators find two scenarios are most commonly used.
In one version, someone calls pretending to represent a well-known computer or software company like Microsoft, claiming that the victim’s computer is sending out viruses or has been hacked and must be cleaned by giving the scammer remote access to the computer to run some programs or change some settings. The scammer will then advise that a fee is required for the services and request a credit-card number for payment. In some cases, the scammer will transfer money using the victim’s computer through a vendor such as Western Union or MoneyGram. In the end, the victim pays for a service that was never needed, as the computer was never infected.
In another common scenario, scammers call to offer reduced interest rates on a victim’s credit cards or line of credit. They request personal information such as a Social Insurance Number, a mother’s maiden name, date of birth, and the credit-card number and expiry date.
If you were using your computer when you got scammed, it’s possible a virus or malicious software was installed on your computer. Run a full system check using…
click here to read more.