Posted on 15. Jun, 2010 in News

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today warned Victorians to watch out for a telemarketing scam offering to remove viruses from home computers.

Mr Robinson said scammers were cold-calling households across the state claiming to have detected a virus and offering to remotely connect to your computer to clear it.  

Consumers are asked to pay a fee of up to $300 by credit card for the service. 

However, the scammers appear to be simply taking consumers’ money and providing no service or any proof that there was a virus infecting the computer.

Mr Robinson said Victorians should be immediately suspicious if called out of the blue by someone claiming your computer is infected with a virus and offering to fix it.

“The Brumby Labor Government is standing up for all Victorians by making sure they can identify scams and take action so they don’t become victims of fraud or lose their hard-earned money,” he said.

“In this scam, telemarketers tell households their computer has a virus and requires immediate repairs to protect stored information.  The scammers claim they can provide technical support and clear the virus for a fee.

“However, this is just a ruse to con you out of your money or personal financial details.

“A reputable company will not cold-call you to tell you your computer needs urgent maintenance because there is no way they can know your computer is infected without working on it.

“Always remember, the best way to determine if your computer has a virus is to install anti-virus software or call a computer technician to examine it.”

To protect yourself against potential fraud, Mr Robinson advised Victorians to:

  • say no to telemarketers trying to sell you products and services you don’t need and never send money;  
  • never give credit card or personal banking details to anyone or any company you don’t know and trust; and
  • install up-to-date computer anti-virus and privacy protection software for assurance about the safety and integrity of you PC.

Victims of this sort of scam should also request a charge back from their bank if they paid by credit card. 

For information and advice or to dob-in a scam, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au

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