MP warns of new scam threat

FEDERAL MP for Richmond Justine Elliot is warning local people, particularly the elderly, of the latest round of scams involving computers.

Her warning which coincides with an alert by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) comes in wake of calls to other locals from scammers pretending to represent Telstra or Windows to sell repair packages for computer faults that don’t assist.

One elderly Murwillumbah district woman, who just bought a new computer, told the Daily News, she received a call before it was unpacked telling her it was faulty and someone would arrive to pick it up for repairs.

Family members she spoke to realised it was a scam.

Ms Elliot said it was important that locals “have the information to avoid being conned by these scam artists”.

“Often these scammers make calls to vulnerable people, impersonating banks and government agencies to try and fleece them of money,” Ms Elliot said.

She added there were “simple steps” to “avoid being sucked in” which included remembering that “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”

She said people should also never send their credit card or bank account details to anyone they don’t trust or agree to offers or deals straight away.

“Tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision,” she said.

The ACCC has warned its SCAMwatch unit has received reports of a new twist on an earlier computer remote access scam with callers now claiming to be from or affiliated with Telstra or BigPond.

It is a variation on an existing scam in which scammers operating out of what reports suggest to be overseas call centres, falsely claim to be making tech support calls from Microsoft or Windows.



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