Computer virus scam

NSW authorities are warning seniors to be alert for a computer scam after an 81-year-old man narrowly avoided handing over $550 to fraudsters.

John Scott from Woolgoolga on the NSW mid north coast was phoned last week by scammers with foreign accents claiming to be representatives of software giant Windows, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said.

The men, who said their names were John and Justin, provided the phone number 02 8006 9015, told Scott his computer had a virus, then gave him instructions to access his computer and told him to send $550 to E-Commerce with a bank account number.

After receiving a number of calls chasing payment, Scott went to his local bank branch where a scam-savvy teller advised him the account number belonged to another bank and urged him not to send the money because she believed he was being scammed.

Stowe said the incident highlighted the important role banks and other agencies that do financial transactions have in protecting the public against scams.

“Without consumer vigilance and the support of the banks, newsagents and other businesses that transfer money, many more people, particularly seniors, would lose money to scammers,” he said.

For further details, go to www.scamwatch.gov.au or www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

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