The Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service is currently investigating a complaint from a community resident who received an unsolicited telephone call from an internet anti-virus company. The complainant allowed the caller to remotely access their computer and download a program, paying a $250.00 fee. After the download, the complainant was unable to log-in. This scheme involves company representatives calling individuals and stating, for example, that it is Microsoft calling and that their computer is running slow or has viruses. They offer to repair the computer over the internet, which can involve the installation of software or the customers allowing the representatives remote access to their computer.
A recent variation involves the suspects identifying themselves as the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre and they have taken a more aggressive approach with individuals by stating their computer is being used by hackers and that they will be held responsible if they do not allow the suspect to repair their computer.
Allowing a third party to download software or remotely access a computer carries inherent risks. Keyloggers or other malicious software could be installed to capture sensitive data such as online banking user names and passwords, bank account information, and identity information, personal photographs, etc.
The anti-virus scam continues to be a prominent scam and has proliferated since March 2010. To date, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has received 15,763 complaints, with 4,523 classified as victims having a total reported dollar loss of $1,022,826.22 (average loss of $292.82 per victim).
Payment for the software or repair service is handled via credit card, Western Union, debit card or Paypal. Analysis of victim reports shows that credit card charges are being debited by banks in India, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Mauritius, United States, Panama, Korea, China, Philippines, Australia, Iceland and New Zealand.
NO legitimate company would attempt to gain access to your personal computer. Please heed the following warning signs:
- Unsolicited call representing computer repair-company (e.g. Microsoft) or indicating that it is the Canadian Cyber Incident response Centre.
- Caller requesting remote access to your computer or for you to view your event viewer.
- Urgent solicitation indicating there is a threat to your computer.
- Credit card charges from foreign banks appearing on your statement ranging from $35.00 to $469.00.
This bulletin was prepared to provide an overview of the Service – anti-virus scam and to provide a list of warning signs that may assist in identifying these fraudulent solicitations. If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service at 613-575-2340 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca. Fraud: Recognize It, Report It, Stop It.
Let’s keep Akwesasne safe for the next Seven Generations.