Lambton OPP are warning computer users to "hang up the phone": if they're contacted buy anyone suggesting their Windows PC needs to be "fixed" if you'll only submit to giving them remote access.
"Just hang up the phone," says a Lambton OPP news release. "Do not give the caller your computer access codes or credit card information."
The RCMP reports this scam is now accounting for 70 to 80% of all frauds reported.
A typical scenario is where a caller, often claiming to work for Microsoft or another reputable software company, will call you and ask if your computer is running slowly or not working as it should. They will then offer to repair your computer via internet access, which can involve either software installation or the caller gaining remote control of your computer after you’ve granted them access. Payment for the software or the repair service is handled via your credit card with charges typically ranging from $35 to $470 per call.
"Allowing a third party to remotely take control of your computer and download software to your computer places in you in a position of extreme vulnerability," says the OPP. "Sensitive data such as online banking information, bank accounts, user names and passwords are now exposed. Your bank account can be accessed and credit card charges can be made without your knowledge."
Police advise computer users to visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre’s new website for the latest on emerging fraud trends, advice on protecting yourself and victim’s guides that will help you recover from fraud loss. Additional information is available by clicking this link: Government of Canada's Cyber Security Strategy