This scam involves customers receiving an inbound call where the caller will introduce themselves as being from Spark’s Technical Team, Spark’s Helpdesk or Microsoft.
The caller will generally advise that the call is in relation to a problem (e.g. a virus) with the customer’s fixed line, router, internet services, or computer. The caller might try gain the customer’s trust by saying things like “I’ve received a report that you’re experiencing slow internet” or “I understand you’ve just had Fibre installed so we need to run some tests.”
The caller hopes the customer has just had Fibre installed or has experienced slow internet so the call sounds legitimate. The caller can also use scaring tactics to create a sense of urgency, for example, “There is a virus impacting the Spark network and if we don’t fix it now you will be disconnected.”
Once the caller has gained the customer’s trust they will then ask the customer to log into their computer and download a remote assistance application. Team Viewer is the application that is most commonly used. Once the customer has given remote access, the caller will bring up a page on the customer’s computer screen that shows data or other ‘diagnostic’ information. The scammer will claim that they are showing the customer errors and will advise that they can resolve the errors for a fee.
In some instances, customers are encouraged to log into internet banking to transfer money to pay for these services or make a credit card payment. If neither option is available to the customer, then they are asked to go to Western Union to make a payment. There have also been instances where customers have been asked to pay in iTunes vouchers.