Public warning victims of the “Microsoft scam” or tech Support Scam are defrauded a second time

Police are warning members of the public to be vigilant following reports from overseas that the “Microsoft” “Tech Support” scam has taken a new twist.

Members of the public who were previously caught by the “Microsoft” scam are now being re-approached with an offer of a refund.  The offenders are using the excuse they are going out of business and are unable to provide the ongoing support they committed to by virtue of the previous payment (the scammed payment).

To facilitate this refund the fraudsters are instructing the victims in how to set up an online cash transfer facility with a wire transfer company.  Once having established the account, which requires a debit or credit card facility to be registered, the criminals are again taking over remote control of the victim’s computer and instead of refunding money to the account of the victim they are in fact removing funds from the associated debit or credit card.  The funds have been identified as going to India.

Detective Superintendant Brian Hay said, “The dangers of this scam cannot be stressed enough. These criminals are getting access to live and open financial accounts to which they are given complete control and have the ability to record details allowing them to commit further frauds in the future,”

“Without question, Australian victims will be targeted with this new criminal innovation and it is imperative our communities remain vigilant and on guard.  All unsolicited phone calls purporting to be from Microsoft or a tech support company should be immediately terminated,” he said.

The Microsoft scam:

The callers report the users’ computer is sending error messages and a virus has been detected. The victims are then convinced to allow the caller remote access to their computer. As the user’s computer is searched, the caller points out infected files. The users are advised that the virus can be removed for a fee and are asked to provide their credit card information. Whether the users pay for the removal of the virus or not, many have reported difficulties with their computers afterwards.

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 24hrs per day.

Sign up to the Queensland Police News myPolice blog to receive updates from your local police.