19 October 2012

Scammers are always quick to adapt to changing circumstances.

Following international efforts by agencies to close down the infamous 'Microsoft imposter scam', reported earlier this month, examples of scammers responding with new approaches have been noted.

This includes scammers making follow up calls to previous targets of the original scam, offering apologies and refunds in response to the closing down of (fake) support they provided previously.

Scammers may also claim to be from a foreign government, foreign law enforcement agency or bank, and offer to recover the money you initially lost, in return for a fee.

As with all scams:

Suspect: Don't accept anything at face value. Don't make a payment over the phone or online without first checking the details.

Think: Recognise the signs.If you're being pressured to act, disclose personal details or send money to a stranger, it's almost certainly a scam. (Microsoft never makes unsolicited phone calls about its products.)

Report: Act to report the scam.Tell SCAMwatch and help stop scammers in their tracks.

Ignore: Never respond. Hang up or delete the SMS or email after reporting.

More information

The ACMA offers additional information on its action to stop the Microsoft imposter scam:
http://engage.acma.gov.au/acma-microsoft-media-release/

As well as additional Q&A information about the scam:
http://engage.acma.gov.au/microsoft-imposters-phone-scam/

The ACMA has also offered useful advice on avoiding scams:
http://engage.acma.gov.au/microsoft-scammers/

The ACCC has issued a number of warnings related to the scam:

October 2012: Computer cold call virus - scammers outsmarted!
http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/989316

August 2011: Computer remote access scammers now masquerading as Telstra, new twist http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/862103

March 2011: New twist on computer error message/virus scams
http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/834379

July 2010: Telemarketing scam: Your computer has a virus!
http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/792165

Reporting Scams

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page at https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/reportascam or by calling 1300 795 995.

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Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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