Don’t get hit by on­line scam­mers

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - With Se­nior Con­sta­ble SI­MON CARTER

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.

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