News

Residents warned as scammers rip off $60k in super

Police are warning people to be aware of a sophisticated telephone scam.
Police are warning people to be aware of a sophisticated telephone scam.

SUNSHINE Coast residents have been warned about a sophisticated scam which has been resurrected to great effect, ripping victims off to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

Police are warning people to be wary of the scam, which involves a call to a home phone from a telecommunications provider.

The demanding caller tells the residents their computer has been hacked and insists they press specific keys on the keyboard (windows key and the letter 'r').

A second person then comes on the line and tells the resident they need money to catch the scammer and asks for a credit card number and PIN, before ringing on the mobile phone and asks to stay on the line.

The victim is then told to withdraw money from the bank and then asked to attend certain retail shops and buy gift cards.

Still on the line, the scammer tells the victim to display the PIN and gift card details to the computer camera, which has been taken over by scammers.

This goes on for several days and can include a number of requests for purchases to be made, including plane tickets.

Acting Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crimes Group said one victim had lost $20,000 through the scam.

"The actions of these criminals targeting the vulnerable members of our community is deplorable, they don't care who they hurt, they just want your money," he said.

"This scam is very specific however I urgently warn all members to be vigilant when it comes to unsolicited calls and a request or demand to make payment by gift cards of any type.

"Businesses and government organisations will not seek payment in this way, nor will they request remote access to your computer. The callers are criminals who are stealing your money. Please, I urge you to not comply and hang up immediately. Report the call to Scamwatch or ACORN."

Coast IT guru and owner of ID Care, Dr David Lacey, said they'd seen a spike in both telephone and remote-access scams in the past few months.

He said his company was doing about 200 engagements a week with victims of cyber crime and about one-third were calls from victims of telephone scams.

Dr Lacey said scammers were often using telephone calls to gain remote access to computers, then installing ransomware to further extort their victims.

"It's certainly ratcheting up," Dr Lacey said.

He estimated about a million calls a month were being made to victims in Australia.

Victims that had contacted him were suffering significant financial losses, with one victim even having up to $60,000 withdrawn from their superannuation account by scammers.

He said victims often blamed themselves, but added it had nothing to do with intelligence, as the scammers were highly manipulative.

"It's not just about the technology, it's mostly about the emotional and confidence (damage caused by scammers)," Dr Lacey said.

Victims can report scams to scamwatch.gov.au or acorn.gov.au.

Topics:  community computers crime cyber crime digital money personal police scam scam alert scammers scamwatch security sunshine coast technology


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Macca: Five companies want new Surat Basin gas land

QGC's Kenya water treatment plant was officially opened today.

Race is on for CSG companies to drill on new land in the Surat Basin

What happened to Jason Vance?

Rockhampton man Jason John Vance went missing in the Barakula Forest in 2013.

Inquest to investigate missing Rockhampton man

Government opens up new lands for gas supplies

Two new parcels of land in the Surat Basin will be developed

Local Partners

Man airlifted, Warrego Hwy shut after machinery incident

UPDATE: A man pinned by a piece of heavy machinery has been airlifted to a Brisbane hospital after suffering serious injuries in the incident near Chinchilla.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!