The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are cautioning people to be wary of service scams that prey on victims who are not so savvy about technology.
“Service scams typically involve individuals who use high-tech sounding jargon to offer support telecommunications, Internet, finance, medical and energy services,” according to a release from the OPP. “This category of scams may also include offers such as extended warranties, insurance, and door-to-door sales.”
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, and claims that the victim’s computer is sending out viruses or has been hacked and must be cleaned, said the OPP.
“The scammer will gain remote access to the computer and may run some programs or change some settings,” police said. “The scammer will then advise that a fee is required for the services and request a credit card number to cover the payment. In the end, the victim pays for a service that was never needed as the computer was never infected.”
In another common scenario, scammers will 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 with the expiry date of the cards,” the OPP noted.
A virus or malicious software can be installed on a computer in the process of being scammed. Police recommend anyone who suspects their system could have been infected “run a full system check using reliable…
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