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Beware of scammers

Scammers have targeted Barbara Robin twice in the last year, and she warns they will stop at nothing to get your money.
Scammers have targeted Barbara Robin twice in the last year, and she warns they will stop at nothing to get your money.

WHEN Barbara Robin got a phone call from an international number, she thought it was a relative calling to say hello.

Instead, the voice on the end of the line belonged to someone called Nancy who was calling to tell her there was something wrong with her computer, and if Barbara gave over her bank details, the problem would be fixed.

Barbara hung up the phone.

"People need to know this sort of thing is happening. It's just scary how they can know your name and other personal information," she said.

"This woman asked if she could speak to Mrs Robin, so she knew who she was talking to."

It wasn't the first time she'd been targeted, having received a call a year ago from a man who said he was from Microsoft. That time, Barbara's husband John took the call, and not knowing much about computers, put his wife on the phone who followed the caller's instructions through a website.

Suddenly, the computer screen filled with a "whole heap of code", and the man said he'd fix it if Barbara gave him her account details, at which time she hung up. An article in the Central Queensland News had tweaked her suspicions, and she has since been on her guard.

Another woman wasn't so lucky when on Monday night, a person rang her about two new laptops she'd just bought.

"They wanted me to upgrade the computer... and they've ended up doing all that but got into our computer," the woman said.

"(They) accessed it and we could see the mouse moving."

The woman rang her bank within 10 minutes of hanging up on the caller, and was told $50 was taken from her account.

"They wanted us to join this security thing for $250 and they would not get out of our computer," the woman said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission watchdog ScamWatch urges people to remain on alert and report any suspicious calls.

Visit www.scamwatch.gov.au for information and reporting options.


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