Don’t get hit by online scammers
Howdy, I hope that everyone is well and looking after one another. Spring is here and it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with our neighbours even just to touch base while we go about in our normal routines and say hi.
Scams have been around for some time and are in the business of either taking your hard-earned money, or stealing some aspects of your identity to be later used in other dishonestly crimes.
A rising issue at present is remote access scams that involve the direct use of computers and phones. The scammer will call, pretending to be a customer support officer of a large well known company concerning an issue with your computer or device. The scammer will prompt for a programme to be downloaded to further look at the problem that allows remote but direct access to your computer. Scammers are always persistent for you to provide your personal, bank or credit card details and log on passcodes through a variety of methods to achieve their aim.
Online crime is a global problem where scammers may be in another country. This makes it difficult for the police to investigate the crime, catch the offender or assist the victim in the recovery of monies stolen.
Here are some tips to help in protecting yourself.
Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer and be suspicious.
Don’t trust unexpected contact calls and never provide your personal details or online account details over the phone.
Do not agree to transfer money or goods for someone else.
Be wary, if you receive a call from out of the blue about your computer and remote access is requested. Say “no thanks” and hang up. If you are unsure, hang up and call the organisation using the official helpline number. Reserve the right to be impolite. Make sure your computer is protected with regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software plus a good firewall. Research first then purchase from a source you know and trust.
Use different passwords for logging in to online services.
If you believe you have been scammed, shut down your computer, seek advice from a qualified and reputable computer technician.
If you think you have provided personal bank account details, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. Monitor your accounts for rogue purchases over the coming months.
Change all your passwords from a different computer and consider two factor authentication.
Report the incident to your local police, and Netsafe.org.nz.
Talk to someone you trust for advice and support.
There are more great information on a variety of scams through the Consumerprotection.govt.nz, Department of internal affairs and Consumer affairs website.
Thank you and enjoy your day, Senior Constable Simon CARTER, Levin Police.