This scam is when you get a call and the caller says they're from a trusted organisation like Spark, another telecommunications company or Microsoft. The caller will usually say something like one or more of the following:
- There's a problem with your phone, internet or computer
- They’ve received a report that you’re experiencing slow internet
- They understand you’ve had Fibre installed and they’d like to run some tests
- That they need you to update your information with them
- That Spark has had an internal breach which means your modem, email or device has been hacked
The caller may also use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency. For example, "you must pay your account now or you'll lose connection immediately".
Once the scammer has your attention, they'll often ask you to log on to your computer and download an application (for example, "TeamViewer"). This app lets them access your computer. The scammer will then show you what they claim are problems and they'll say they can resolve the problems for a fee.
Sometimes they might ask you to do a bank transfer or credit card payment to pay for these services. If neither option is available, they'll ask you to go to Western Union to make a payment. Or, they might ask you to pay in iTunes vouchers.
There's been instances of scammers transferring victims to the "Police Cyber Crime Unit" after saying they're the subject of identity theft through their emails. Victims are then told that the police need their help to set up a "trap to catch the criminals". They're convinced to withdraw large sums of money to post to an address, or to deposit it to an account.