New scam on the loose

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ASIC has issued a warning, saying the industry regulator has received reports of cold-calling scammers pretending to represent the organisation.

Based offshore, the callers claim to be able to assist victims in retrieving money lost in an earlier software scam. They may quote an ABN, claim to also represent Microsoft and in order to receive any funds, recipients are asked to provide access to their computer and complete an online form.

ASIC says anyone who is contacted should simply hang up and contact their bank or financial institution immediately.

ASIC commissioner, Peter Kell says, ASIC suspects that the scam is the latest attempt by fraudsters to obtain victims’ personal details or trick them into paying money.

‘We ask the public to be wary of calls like these and we encourage them to conduct some basic checks before acting on an email or phone call out of the blue’.

Warning signs:

  • You receive a surprise call or email claiming you are entitled to a compensation payment or funds recovered from an earlier scam.
  • The caller or sender pretends to be from a real business, government agency or financial organisation.
  • In order to receive the funds, you are required to pay a fee in advance to cover costs such as ‘administration’ fees, ‘bonds or security deposits’ or ‘outstanding taxes’.
  • The scammer will request payment via a money transfer service or your personal or banking information.

You can report scams via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling ASIC on 1300 300 630.

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