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Urgent reminder – police urge vigilance following reported scam

Police are warning of the resurgence of a scam targeting Queensland residents which has resulted in a Queensland victim losing $20,000.

The scam involves a call to the resident’s home telephone from a telecommunications provider. The caller appears very demanding, advising the resident their computer has been hacked and insisting they press specific keys on their computer keyboard (the windows key and the letter “R”).

A second person comes on the line and advises the resident they require money to catch the scammer and asks for a credit card number and PIN. The scammer then rings on the mobile and asks to stay on the line.

The resident is directed to withdraw a sum of money from the bank and then asks the resident to attend specific retail outlets to purchase gift cards. The caller stays on the line and instructs the victim to display the PIN and gift card details to the computer camera (which has been taken over by the scammers). This continues over several days and also includes the victim being asked to wire money for plane tickets.

“We have a victim who has lost a total of $20,000 in this scam. The actions of these criminals targeting the vulnerable members of our community is deplorable, they don’t care who they hurt, they just want your money.

“This scam is very specific however I urgently warn all members to be vigilant when it comes to unsolicited calls and a request or demand to make payment by gift cards of any type.

“Businesses and government organisations will not seek payment in this way, nor will they request remote access to your computer. The callers are criminals who are stealing your money. Please, I urge you to not comply and hang up immediately. Report the call to Scamwatch or ACORN,” Acting Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crimes Group said.

To report a scam visit www.scamwatch.gov.au or www.acorn.gov.au

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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