The 2010 Consumer Fraud Week was launched today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT). The theme of this year’s campaign is “Online Offensive: Fighting Fraud Online”. Microsoft Australia is proud to support this initiative.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of online consumer fraud in Australasia through various member and partner activities and the distribution of educational materials by members and partners.
Many people, consumers and businesses unfortunately fall victim to scams every day.
Whilst historically phishing has always been prevalent, a new scam has come to light recently that has been deceiving consumers. This scam operates under several names including Support on Click, ITEZY.com and System Recure. The fraudsters have been using Microsoft’s name to try to gain trust. They falsely claim to be a Microsoft partner on their website, and misuse our logo on many of their pages. Their spiel goes something like this:
· You get a call at home from a company claiming to be working for Microsoft or ‘your ISP’;
· The phone number will show up as Australian, but they are really calling from India or overseas;
· They will typically tell you that your computer has been running slowly and this is likely due to ‘infections’;
· They tell you they can help you with this and direct you to a website that then allows them to take remote control of your PC (in doing this they could download spyware to your machine);
· The ‘cold caller’ will then spend some time on your system trying to demonstrate where all your ‘problems’ are; and
· They will then try to sell you their ‘fixing’ service and take your credit card details.
In reality Support On Click, System Recure, and ITEZY.com are doing nothing to help your PC become any quicker or more secure, they are just trying to scam money out of you. Queensland police have also warned that fraudsters could even be downloading malicious software to your machine if allowed to take remote access.
At Microsoft we do not cold call customers, nor disclose personal information about our customers to be used in this way. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone offering assistance to fix your computer then we suggest you hang up, and not respond to any communications from these scammers.
Microsoft continues to work with law enforcement and relevant government agencies. Unfortunately this is not a problem we can solve via technology, or an update. This is just another high pressure sales technique similar to those property or stock “education seminars” where you have to provide a credit card or ten referrals to get out the door.
To learn more about scams or to report one visit www.scamwatch.gov.au
Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft Australia