Protecting consumers from fraud

Protecting consumers from fraud

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The 2010 Consumer Fraud Week was launched today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT). The theme of this year’s campaign is “Online Offensive: Fighting Fraud Online”. Microsoft Australia is proud to support this initiative.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of online consumer fraud in Australasia through various member and partner activities and the distribution of educational materials by members and partners.

Many people, consumers and businesses unfortunately fall victim to scams every day.

Whilst historically phishing has always been prevalent, a new scam has come to light recently that has been deceiving consumers. This scam operates under several names including Support on Click, ITEZY.com and System Recure. The fraudsters have been using Microsoft’s name to try to gain trust. They falsely claim to be a Microsoft partner on their website, and misuse our logo on many of their pages. Their spiel goes something like this:

· You get a call at home from a company claiming to be working for Microsoft or ‘your ISP’;

· The phone number will show up as Australian, but they are really calling from India or overseas;

· They will typically tell you that your computer has been running slowly and this is likely due to ‘infections’;

· They tell you they can help you with this and direct you to a website that then allows them to take remote control of your PC (in doing this they could download spyware to your machine);

· The ‘cold caller’ will then spend some time on your system trying to demonstrate where all your ‘problems’ are; and

· They will then try to sell you their ‘fixing’ service and take your credit card details.

In reality Support On Click, System Recure, and ITEZY.com are doing nothing to help your PC become any quicker or more secure, they are just trying to scam money out of you. Queensland police have also warned that fraudsters could even be downloading malicious software to your machine if allowed to take remote access.

At Microsoft we do not cold call customers, nor disclose personal information about our customers to be used in this way. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone offering assistance to fix your computer then we suggest you hang up, and not respond to any communications from these scammers.

Microsoft continues to work with law enforcement and relevant government agencies. Unfortunately this is not a problem we can solve via technology, or an update. This is just another high pressure sales technique similar to those property or stock “education seminars” where you have to provide a credit card or ten referrals to get out the door.

To learn more about scams or to report one visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

Stuart Strathdee
Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft Australia

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  • Yes, we got caught with this one.  Hoping to reclaim our money back though.  Will be more careful in the future.

  • They are trying the same scam in the UK using exactly the same methods under the new name 'itstrong', website at itstrong.net Beware!

  • I am very pleased with this company. My computer was very slow after I get call from srecurenow my pc performance was so good. its a miracle

  • Just had a call from Mark Taylor, Sydney (strong Indian accent) claiming to be from Microsoft Windows Service Center claiming that my Windows software warranty had run out and my computer was infected.

    This was clearly a scam, the caller wanted me to go to www.richteksupport.com and also wanted remote access.

    When queried for his name, he gave the Mark Taylor. When asked for his phone number, he refused and tried very hard to convince me he was a genuine Microsoft service representative. It is a scam, don't fall for it.

  • These people will claim that your computer has sent information to Microsoft indicating a problem with security or performance. They will attempt to lead you to the event viewer to show you any errors that your computer has logged and even if errors are present, it doesn't necessary indicate any serious problems. Most PC's will have some log errors at some time.

    Do not trust them, they are thieves and it is a scam.

    If you suspect a problem, take your PC to your local repairman whom you can trust. Make sure you have an antivirus and anti-spyware programme installed. Microsoft Security Essentials is not perfect but a good place to start and it is free. Just Google or Bing "Microsoft Security Essentials", download and install it. Run a full scan.

  • Had two calls from indian sounding guy sayint he was from Microsoft scare and they had detected a virus downloading on my computer and they hasd technicians who would come around and fix it. I asked for their phone number which he wouldn't give. On the second call I told him we had reported them to the Australian Govt and he said we nt scammers and recognosed as genuine. I insisted they were scammers and he said well if we are we will hack into your computer and get everything. I told him I had recorded the conversation and would be passing it to Australian legal authorities so he hung up.  Be very wary as they are forceful!!!

  • This scam is currently targeting the Hamilton area in south west Victoria, Australia.  I received a call yesterday, recognized it as a scam and hung up.  I know of three other people in the area who have been contacted recently.  I contacted our local paper and they are going to run a story to alert people to the scam.

  • I got a call today from someone claiming to be from techisonline.com. Some people will try anything.

  • I was called yesterday by Sun System Recure who described themselves as Microsoft's service group for Windows and went through the same proceedures that are described by others on this forum. They even gave me names, addresses and phone numbers in North Sydney so they are fairly convincing. So be aware of Sun System Recure.

  • Happened to me today.....in fact happening as we speak.....some guy (Indian accent) went through the spiel....I left him on speaker phone for a while and eventually he got the message. However, he keeps ringing back, saying he was from Interpol and I was to be arrested for insulting microsoft employees..... quite comical really.

  • The indian speaking caller seemed quiet genuine. Bieng on 'dial-up' and downloading at about 2kb/s took a lot of time. His patience was a little rewarding in the end. Alert Pay got a small sum from me.They seemed real enough at the time. Their Sydney 'Phone number was in the 02 903 area. I would LOVE to meet him. Please pass on to your friends this scam, especially to the aged. Virgo.

  • Just had a person claiming to be from "Live Windows Care" stating that they have detected a virus on my computer and that I should turn it on and he would assist me in finding the virus? I asked this person who had a deep Indian acsent what company did you say your from? He said "Live Windows Care" and I said 'But thats just a 'Brand Name' and who was the company? This guy just stuttered, the line went quiet and then I was pasted onto another Indian speaking guy who claimed he was from "Microsoft Windows"? This guy said your computer is running slow because it's infected with a virus. I said to this guy " I know why my computer is running slow and it's not because of a 'so called virus' it's because it needs more RAM, that is it needs an extra RAM Card". This so called Microsoft Computer Tech asked me what is a RAM Card? I said "And you claim to be from Microsoft? This Indian guy just hung up.    

  • In South Australia...just got a call from a guy with an Indian Accent telling me my computer was running slow because of a virus. Stated was from Windows care. He insisted that I go to my computer and go online to correct the error. I wanted him to email me the information required to correct the error or could I write down the steps right now and I would fix it myself and he pretended not to understand me and insisted I had to go to my computer. Hung up on him and went and googled windows care and found this website! Lucky!!!

  • Just read article in newspaper about scam. My husband is normally so cautious, but was sucked in as they seemed genuine. They supposedly cleaned up viruses in computer and wanted payment. At first he wouldn't pay them until they sent an invoice (which they did online_) He paid by paypal. This happened on 10th Aug 2010. No money missing from our online bank accounts for nearly one month, but now knowing we've been scammed I am going to change passwords on bank accounts to be safe , I hope.

  • i have had two calls today, and they nearly got me,be so careful and spread the word on these mongrels

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