Nearly every week, iTandCoffee hears from someone who has been the victim of a scam, malware or virus. It is heartbreaking is seeing the impact of such attacks - emotionally and, often, financially. Read below about the recent stressful experience of a particular iTandCoffee client.
On March 21st, iTandCoffee ran a 1-hour information session on the topic of Staying Safe Online, for members of The iTandCoffee Club, and for those who have joined our government-sponsored Be Connected program for over-50's.
Because we recognise the importance of everyone understanding how to detect a scam, and what to do if caught out, we are making the 1-hour video recording of this iTandCoffee information session available to all readers of this blog.
Select the below button to view the video - just make sure you watch it on a Wi-Fi network so that you don't chew up your mobile data allowance.
A client's story about getting scammed ...
In recent weeks, iTandCoffee assisted a client who had fallen victim to a scam caller purporting to be from the NBN.
This caller told him that his home internet could now be migrated to the NBN - but that a technical check of his home's router needed to be done to verify that it could be appropriately configured.
They requested that he give them remote access to his computer so that his connection could be checked - and told him that the check would take quite a long time, during which time he would not be able to use his computer. They put up a 'graphical' window that covered the entire screen, so that it appeared that something 'high-tech' was happening.
This meant that, behind the scenes, they could 'have their way' with things on his computer - using his email, trying to access accounts and more.
On day 2, they called him back and said that yes, he could have NBN - as long as he paid a small $25 fee for an upgrade of some sort. He agreed to this but, given the important 'thing' that was running on his computer, could not log into his online banking to pay this small fee.
The caller kindly offered to assist, so obtained the client's bank login and password, then the verification code sent to our client - to set themselves up as a new payee.
I'm sure you can see where this was heading.
The scammer then 'accidentally' withdrew $2500 instead of $25, but was very apologetic and confessed to their error, telling our client not to worry - that the excess payment would be transferred back immediately.
Luckily, the client 'smelled a rat' at this point and called his bank - and the bank temporarily blocked all further payments from his account.
This was fortunate, as the scammers accessed the client's Paypal account after performing password reset (since they had access to the client's email), and tried various other ways to get money from him. They emailed various services, pretending to be the client, trying to arrange money transfers to India.
When iTandCoffee was called in (to clean up the computer so that the bank could remove the block on the bank account), we found that the scammers had installed software that allowed them to spy on our client. We were able to see all the attempts they had made to reset account passwords and attempt to steal further money. Luckily, there was not much this client did online, so there is little they could do to defraud and steal from him further.
As soon as we 'knocked them off' his computer - by turning off his internet access and then removing the 'spy' software they had installed - they started calling to demand to know why they had been disconnected, still pretending to be legitimate NBN staff. They were insistent - quite aggressive, and had to be told (in no uncertain terms) to cease calling our client.
The happy end to this story is that, after a two week wait, our client's bank refunded him the full $2500 that had been stolen from him.
His story is a message to all - do not trust any caller who says they are from Telstra, NBN, the Police, Microsoft, or any number of other scam callers.
Attend our information sessions about Staying Safe Online
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iTandCoffee is at 34 High Street Glen Iris 3146, Victoria Australia
Call 1300 885 420 or (03) 9886 0814
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