The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Anti Fraud Center say the virus scam is growing to epidemic proportions. Since March of 2010 the RCMP have noticed that a majority of scam reports involve the Virus Scam.
Canadians are getting phone calls from people claiming to be with Microsoft or another reputable software company asking how their computer is running. If the computer is running slow or not working at all they can fix the virus for a charge. The payment for the virus repair us ranging from $35 to $470 per call.
Not only are the victims being scammed for repairs that are never made but they are giving their passwords, access codes and even downloading software to their computers. At this point the scammer has all that they need to access the persons, banking account and whatever personal information they have stored on their computers.
The scam can have wide-reaching implications for victims, because it often means both bank account and credit card information becomes compromised, which can mean everything from fraudulent credit card purchases to more major frauds.
RCMP are warning people that if you are concerned about viruses on your computer, be proactive and use anti-virus software and find a reputable source to fix it if you feel there is something wrong. ‘If someone call you out of the blue offering to provide this kind of help, it’s probably a scam.”
Sgt. Patrick Webb, with the Alberta RCMP, says, it’s very difficult for the police to follow up on these crimes after the fact as the calls tend to come from Africa, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. “The police forces in these countries have no interest in co-operating,” he said. “We hit a dead end at that point and essentially the investigation ends.”
Webb agreed that the best way to deal with the scam is for call recipients to hang up.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.