Online Investigations is warning Australians about the latest remote access scam targeting Australians in need of computer assistance.
Most of us by now are aware of the ‘Microsoft’ cold call scam….the one where you receive a call on your phone stating the caller on the end of the phone is from Microsoft and they are ringing you because you have a virus on your computer.
While similar in the nature of the scam itself, this latest epidemic involves Australians taking to online search engines to seek out answers to related computer questions they have. These may be things such as how to use a particular piece of software, fixing errors, or even tutorials on specific products.
When searching online for answers the potential victim will come across advertisements and websites created by the scammers giving the appearance of genuine Australian based helpdesk and support services. When the victim contacts the listed phone number they are answered by cyber criminals who purport the user to falsely have viruses on their computer and the only way to ‘fix’ these is for the user to download software as requested by the helpdesk. In fact, this software which is downloaded then provides the cybercriminals (scammers) to have full access to the victims computer.
One of these fake helpdesk services operated by scammers is Macpatchers, which was recently exposed in an ABC Investigation.
It was found that in addition to downloaded remote access to the victims computer, the scammers were also using the victims webcam to record them without their knowledge and later upload them onto popular video sharing site Youtube as a fake testimonial.
Professor Sussman explained to ABC reporter Pat McGrath that he was a victim of this scam and at the end of his conversation the scammers had asked him to read a line of text confirming he was happy with the service he had received. Without his knowledge the scammers had turned on his webcam, recorded this message and uploaded it to Youtube as a fake testimonial.
This scam was also identified and originally reported on by “David” a self proclaimed ‘scam baiter’ who rings up scammers pretending to a victim and then exposes the process online.
To assist in the prevention of further victims we encourage others to start posting known phone numbers and websites connected to this type of remote access scam in the comments below. Or you can view more about how Online Investigations can assist with scam investigations.
Known scam phone numbers and websites:
1800 290 948
macpatchers techsupport Australia
1800 830 823
1800 958 213