New wave of technical support scams
We have received reports of a new wave of technical support scams impersonating Telstra. These scams may also be known as 'Remote Access scams' or 'Impersonation scams'.
Victims are contacted by callers pretending to be representatives from Telstra reporting some kind of problem. (One recent scam, for example, claims that the lights blinking in a particular pattern on a modem or router indicates an issue).
These callers may either request remote access to the victim's computer and/or ask for credit card details in order to charge a fake support fee or fix a false payment processing issue.
What to do now
If you are contacted unexpectedly by someone claiming to be from Telstra and they either ask you to verify your payment details or claim that there is a problem with your internet connection – hang up. If unsure, verify their identity by contacting Telstra using the phone number printed on your bill, or use the contact details on Telstra.
- If you think you have given your credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We also encourage you to report scams to the ACCC's SCAMWatch and ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network).
- If you think your computer's security has been compromised, or you have given remote access to an unauthorised user, uninstall any remote access software you were asked to install, run a full scan with your anti-virus software and seek reputable technical support. Seriously consider restoring your computer from a previous back-up.
- If you accessed any online accounts or services (such as online banking, social media or email) after giving a scammer remote access, you will need to update your credentials for these services. Log in to any services or accounts that may have been accessed – from a different, clean computer – and change your passwords. Learn more about using strong passwords.
Technical support and impersonation scams are not new and continue to be a problem so it is important to remain alert to things that don't seem right.
These types of scams attempt to take advantage of a victim's lack of knowledge or anxiety around technical issues. Scammers may use overtly technical language or play on user's fears of malware or other security threats to gain remote access to the victim's computer or steal their credit card details.
Stay Smart Online has more information on technical support scams.
The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.