Beware of scammers imitating Centrelink officers

11 November 2015
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers to beware of scammers imitating Department of Human Services or Centrelink officers to trick you into handing over your money or personal details.

“The ACCC has received a spike in contacts about fake rebate scams in which the scammer claims to be from Centrelink or the Department of Human Services. One hundred people contacted the ACCC about this scam last month, compared with 20 reports in May. Four people have reported losing over $3,000 to this scam in the past six months, with 300 contacts in that time,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

How these scams work

You receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Department of Human Services or Centrelink.
The caller tells you that you are entitled to more money but you must provide some personal details to prove your identity. At this point the scammer attempts to gather as much as they can about you for identity theft.
If you provide these details the scammer will then ask you to send money directly via a wire transfer service or may even direct you to your nearest Post Office to pay the ‘fee’.
The scammer may claim that your Centrelink payments will be cut off unless you pay the fee.
If you send any money via wire transfer, you will never see it again – it’s nearly impossible to recover money sent this way. You will also never receive the promised rebate or refund.
If you refuse to do this, the scammer might use any bank details you provided to access your bank account directly and attempt to steal your money. These details may also be used in the future for identity theft.
Protect yourself

“If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a government department and they claim that you are entitled to money, hang up,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you have any doubts about the identity of any caller who claims to represent a business, organisation or government department, contact the body directly. Don’t rely on numbers, email addresses or websites provided by the caller – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.”

“Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately,” Ms Rickard said.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the Scamwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.

This information was found at the Scamwatch website and more info can be found here.

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Google Calendar no longer sending SMS notifications

Just announced that Google will no longer send notifications via SMS to your phone for calendar events. When I  first found out about this I thought “Oh no” then I released that I was no longer using that service as much as i used to because i was using something that was even better and I did not even notice it.

Google no longer sending SMS notifications from calendar.

Google no longer sending SMS notifications from calendar.

I still use Calendar every day but I receive my notifications via Google Now, which sends notifications directly to my phone and tablet, and even my computer and the notifications appear on my phone in much the same way as an SMS notification. It works in the same way so i am not missing out.

If you got spooked by this announcement that Google is no longer sending SMS notifications you do not need to worry if you have activated Google Now on your smartphone and your Chrome browser.

If you have Google apps for business or an education account with Google you will not be effected.

If you want to know more about Google Now you can find out more here.

Happy Computing,

David.

Get Your Windows 10 Upgrade FREE

Microsoft will be rolling out free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 users from the end of July this year.

The upgrade is optional but a great opportunity to get the latest operating system from Microsoft without the cost of a new OS.

Some people will already see the invite (registration button) on their task-bar near the  clock. By filling in the registration form you will receive your upgrade when it is ready to be rolled out. you don’t need to do anything more. Have a look now.

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Will you upgrade to Windows 10 for free at the end of July?

Max Global IT partner of microsoft scam?????

Recently my customers (an many others it seams) have been getting calls from so call Internet support companies stating they are Microsoft partners and contacting you because your computer is reporting faults and needs to be fixed. They claim they can fix your computer for a fee and then try to sell you a protection service for your pc as a yearly subscription.

One such company is Max Global IT, sometimes known as Global Max and are also known as Supportonclick (Support On Click say they are affiliated to Telstra Big Pond )

Below is a link to a post on the Microsoft website discussing this.

Max Global IT partner of microsoft scam?????.

Here is a link to some Whirlpool posts discussing the Support On Click scam.

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/1057308.html

What makes people fall for these scams is that they ring you out of the blue, catch you off guard and put a lot of preassure on you to buy their service and so call fix your computer.

If this company or anyone similar rings you out of the blue you can politely thank them and then hang up.

If you are concerned you can get your computer checked locally by your trusted computer tech.

WOMow.com.au provides a service where you can recommend good business’ you have dealt with and are a great resource for finding trusted technicians to fix your computer.

Many thanks to Lynette Mitchell for alerting me to the latest event of this scam.

For up to date information and alerts about scams, viruses and Internet news download the Frontier PC Tutoring toolbar when you next visit www.frontierpctutoring.com.

Comment if you have been scammed or know of similar scams to this.