November 09, 2012 - 12:30 PM
Police are warning the public to be wary of anyone calling out of the blue claiming to be able to fix problems on home computers.
The Kelowna RCMP recently received reports of a cold-call scam where the caller claimed to represent Microsoft or a company contracted by Microsoft.
Police say there is a method to this form of fraud. They attempt to fool people into believing something is wrong with their computer. Once the victim is convinced their computer contains a virus, the caller directs them to a website that allows the scammer to take remote control of their computer. Sensitive information can then be stolen.
The caller is also known to ask for a fee to fix the problem requiring the victim to share credit card information.
Scammers may claim to be from a company they call Global PC Experts but police believe they are actually calling from India. They protect their identities using "phone spoofing", programming a number to show up on phone display that is different from the origin. Therefore, it's impossible to call them back.
The RCMP says if anyone believes they have been a victim of this crime they should cancel their credit card number and turn off their computer until a trusted service provider can remove any malware or spyware the scammer may have installed.
Police have provided a check list to help the public determine if a call may be scam.
S - Safe. If you give in to one of these facades, would you be worse off for having done it?
C - Credible. Does the person who is trying to convince you have any credibility that can be verified?
A - Aggressive. Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic or language that requires an immediate or imperative response?
M - Motive. Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets such as banking information, with a promise of a greater reward?
These questions can also be applied to mail fraud and door-to-door schemes. If answering yes to any of the above questions or when feeling doubt about a situation, the RCMP say it's best to decline a service.
For more information on frauds or to report: www.antifraudcentre.ca
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012