Stirling North residents scammed, SA

Police are urging the community to talk to members of their family and wider community about scams after two elderly Stirling North residents lost money to a scam in recent days, according to SA Police.

The victims were both contacted by phone by an unknown person claiming to work for Telstra.

The victims were told their computers had been hacked. The scammer provided instructions to enable their computers to be accessed remotely and transferred money from the victims’ accounts. The victims were also instructed to purchase iTunes vouchers to pay for the “service”.

The incidents occurred on 29 and 30 August.

Businesses and government agencies do NOT seek payments – even when ‘urgent’ – in iTunes cards. The gift cards are valuable to pay for Apple products, but are not a legitimate way to make payments over the phone for things such as taxes, debts, computer servicing or utility bills.

As noted by Apple (https://support.apple.com/itunes-gift-card-scams): “It’s important to know that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership.”

Unfortunately many of the people who have fallen prey to these scammers are older members of the community who have less experience with the technology involved.

The scammers are very confident on the phone and very persuasive, at times keeping the victim on the phone while they go to buy the iTunes cards.

SA Police are asking the community to spread the word about these incidents – talk to your friends, relatives or wider community about this type of crime.

And remember;

  • if it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment
  • always know who you are communicating with and where your information is going
  • if you are uncertain, confirm the contact is legitimate through methods other than what they have provided
  • never give your personal details, passwords, credit card or online account details to a person you cannot identify in an official capacity
  • never give an unsolicited person remote access to your computer. You may compromise the security of your device and your personal information
  • ensure your computer is protected with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software

More information is available at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website – www.scamwatch.gov.au

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