We’ve written on multiple occasions about the importance of ignoring scammers who ring claiming to be from Microsoft support and then try and con people into installing malware onto their machines and paying for fake “support”. That tactic remains common, but there’s a new local twist: some of the scammers are now claiming to be from Telstra or BigPond.
The federal SCAMwatch site notes the change, which isn’t at all surprising: just as Windows is the most common operating system, Telstra is the most common ISP. While the scammers will ring plenty of people who use a different ISP, they’ll also hit a lot of potentially vulnerable customers.
I realise most Lifehacker readers are savvy enough to recognise these scams, and potentially to amuse themselves by asking difficult questions. However, our less-informed friends and relatives might fall for it. Remind anyone who is likely to ring you for tech support that they will never get a call from Microsoft or Telstra or anyone offering to help them fix a problem on their PC. If that happens, they should hang up, after screaming abuse or loudly blowing a whistle down the phone if that makes them feel better.