No one is safe from receiving scam robo-calls, not even the police! There is an NBN scam currently cycling through Adelaide landline numbers, and the Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Branch (FCIB), who investigate such scams, were one of the numbers to receive a call.
Utilising a secure and controlled environment, a member of FCIB followed the scammer’s instructions to gain an insight into how this current scam was operating.
The investigator was told there had been an internet security breach and was directed to use the ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys to open the ‘Run’ dialog box on our computer. Following instructions, we were led to a website, www.nbn247.weebly.com – a poorly designed site claiming to be affiliated with the National Broadband Network. The obvious indicator that this website is not affiliated with the NBN, is that the text preceding the ‘.com’ is weebly – a webhosting site.
The caller directed us to click on server 3, which automatically downloaded software called ‘SupRemo’. The file ended in ‘.exe’, which was a warning sign that this was an executable file. When we queried why software was being downloaded, we were initially met with hesitation, before the caller tried to reassure us that the software would help fix our internet problem.
We informed the caller that we couldn’t open the program, so he had us click on the server 4 and server 1 buttons, which attempted to download further executable programs. After we kept experiencing problems, the caller terminated the call.
The software the scammer tried to get us to download is known as remote access software. A very valuable tool for IT professionals to assist with actual computing and network problems, but often misused by scammers to gain unfettered access to your computer – giving them access to your personal information, passwords and online banking. An examination of the website revealed SupRemo, TeamViewer, AeroAdmin, UltraViewer and Zoho are the remote access software this particular group of scammers are using.
Our advice to the community is to not download software that you are not familiar with, and never at the direction of someone over the phone. Also, if you receive a call and cannot be certain who you are speaking to, hang up the phone and call the organisation back on a known, reputable number.
*Disclaimer: Police recommend that you do not engage with scammers. This incident was conducted by a Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Branch, utilising specialised software.