South Australia Police have identified an increase in Remote Access Scams, where unsuspecting victims are receiving calls out of the blue and are being requested to download software onto their phone or computers to resolve account hacking issues.
Whilst these types of scams are not new, scammers are adapting to the December online shopping frenzy; moving away from misrepresenting telco companies and towards major online shopping platforms such as EBay and Amazon.
Victims are receiving unsolicited phone calls, with the caller informing them that their online shopping account has been hacked or an illegal purchase has been made. The caller then informs the victim that in order to rectify the issue, they will need to download an app onto their phone or software onto their computer. Unfortunately, the software downloaded is a type of remote access tool, which provides the scammer will full access and control of the phone. This means they will now have access to personal information, passwords and online accounts. Once the scammers have control of the device, large sums of money are then moved from the victim’s online banking accounts without their permission or knowledge.
South Australia Police recommend that people do not download software or apps that they are not familiar with, and particularly never at the direction of someone over the phone.
If you receive a call and cannot be certain who you are speaking to, hang up the phone and make contact with the organisation on a known, reputable number or alternate contact method such as an email address from their website.
For further information on scams affecting South Australians, please visit www.police.sa.gov.au/scams