COMPUTER users beware.
There has been several reports of computer scams in the Whitsundays in recent weeks and these scams are considered among the most sophisticated that IT experts have seen.
Local electronics technician, Kev Matthews has encountered two severe scams in the past two weeks.
Mr Matthews said that if he hadn't had experience in the industry then he could have also fallen into the deceptive trap.
“It's the most sophisticated one I've come across,” he said.
“It's the first one to ever get through my virus scanner.
“They are really relying on people's natural fear of a virus and lack of knowledge about it.
“It's a bit of a trap and if you fall for it, your money's gone.”
The current scams faced in region come in two forms – by phone or online.
The first scam that Mr Matthews came across was when he received a virus “pop-up” while on the internet.
Mr Matthews was then contacted by a man last Wednesday who said he was calling from a company called “TechIsOnline”
The caller asked Mr Matthews to run a program on his PC which he said would remove the virus.
But running the program would have given this man remote access to Mr Matthews' PC.
Mark O'Donnell from Whitsunday Computer Doctor said that he receives two or three calls each week from clients, expressing concerns about similar computer scams.
“This is really major,” he said.
“It will affect everyone.
Those who fall into the trap of computer scamming can find themselves in serious danger of having their money and personal identity stolen.
“Our advice is to call a professional if they come across anything that seems suspect,” Mr O'Donnell said.
Important Scamming Facts
What to watch out for:
- Virus ‘pop-ups' that read along the lines of “You have a virus, do you want to activate your antivirus software?”
- Suspect phone calls relating to your computer and viruses/software
What to do if you come across it:
- Call a professional
- Ask for the caller's phone number and say you will call back
- Do not give out any personal information – including name, date of birth, credit card details or email address.
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