SCAMWATCH: Spark customers targeted

Telecommunications giant Spark has blown the whistle on a well-organised scam where fraudsters attempt to gain access to customer?s computers and online bank accounts.

The scam involves a call to an unsuspecting customer, telling them their services will be disconnected unless they update their settings or clean up their computers.

Potential victims are directed to a website and asked to download software which allows the scammer to gain remote access to their computer.

From there, the customers are asked to log-on to their personal online banking and switch off their cellphone, with the scammer attempting to keep them talking for a long time.

In some instances, the customer is given a made-up employee number or called back repeatedly after the initial conversation to ?verify? their identity.

There are also reports of scammers changing their story to say they represent “all telecommunication companies” if the victim gets their services somewhere else.

Spark is urging anyone who thinks they have been targeted by the scammers to report the activity to the company?s scam hotline by dialling 123, then selecting option 9. If they have any doubts about a call?s legitimacy, they should hang up immediately.

Here is some practical advice if you no longer want to get these sorts of calls. ?One, get rid of your land-line. ?Most of us pay more in phone rental than we would do in mobile charges for the calls we actually make. ?Having SMS, email and other computer and smart phone related comms makes land lines pretty much an expensive habit.

If you can’t stand the idea of not having a landline, then ask to be unlisted. ?Unlisted numbers get perhaps 1-2% of the scam calls that listed numbers get.

Even if you would never fall for scams like these, consider giving mum and/or dad a call and let them know what to do. ?It’s the oldies that tend to believe that if someone phones, they must be real, and they don’t have the same BS detectors as we’ve had to develop.

– 3 News