Netsafe has received multiple reports from people about card fraud phone scams. There is an influx of scammers claiming to be from credit card providers or banks calling about suspicious transactions on your card. Learn about how this scams works and what you can do if you receive one of these calls now.
How does this scam work?
An automated voice message will play when you answer the phone. The message will claim to be from your bank or credit card provider (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, Amex) explaining there have been one or more suspicious transactions on your card – usually totalling between $500 to $2000 The message will say to press one to dispute the charge(s) or speak with an agent about the charge(s).
You will then be transferred to a live person, who will either ask you for personal information like login details or passwords, convince you to install remote access software which will give the scammers access to your device or ask for gift card payments to ‘assist with the fraud investigation’. This scam is a variation and evolution of other common phone scams such as the tech support scam.
What can scammers do with remote access?
If you give scammers remote access to your device they may:
- Make you believe that your device is infected/needs cleaning to prevent fraud – and may try to sell you software or a support contract
- Record your banking login, credit card information or personal details for identity fraud or theft
- Install rogue software like Trojans or keyloggers to record your computer use and gain your login information for online banking, auction sites and more
What should I do if I’m contacted?
You should always be wary if you are unexpectedly contacted about a suspicious transaction on your card especially if it is using a recorded voice. You can:
- Politely say no thanks and hang up. Don’t engage in a conversation, try to ‘trick’ the scammer or tell them off as you could get put on a ‘to harass’ list
- If you’re unsure whether it is a scammer or a legitimate organisation, hang up and call the organisation using their official support number
- Record the time of the call and the phone number that the call came from. If you receive multiple calls from the same phone number, you may be able to report this to your phone provider as a ‘nuisance caller’. Contact your phone provider for more information on their specific nuisance caller policies.
You can also report this at netsafe.org.nz/report.
What should I do if I’ve shared personal information?
If you’ve shared any sensitive personal information with the scammer, this Identity Theft Checklist is a helpful guide on what could happen with your information. If you believe you may have been exposed to identity theft, we suggest you contact iDCare as they provide free help and support.
What should I do if I’ve given remote access?
- Disconnect your device from the internet at your WiFi router and turn it off immediately. This will stop the scammers from having remote access to your device.
- Change all your passwords using a different device so the scammers can’t use your account. This includes passwords for your banking, social networking, email and trading accounts like TradeMe as well as other accounts like TAB. Learn how to choose a strong password here.
- Run a full security scan to see if there is any malware.If the scammers had access to your device, they may have installed malware on it. Malware is a piece of software that can be put on to a device to damage, harm or gain unauthorised access to a computer system. If you think there may be malware on your device, talk to an IT specialist who can confirm if there is and get rid of it for you. You can use a free online virus-scanner to look for threats on your computers.
- For PC: ESET online scanner or Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool. After this scan run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free edition
- For Mac: Bitdefender Antivirus for MAC or ESET Cyber Security for Mac or AVG Antivirus for Mac
- Notify your bank.If you use online banking, contact your bank to advise them that you’ve been targeted by the scam. Keep an eye on your accounts and check statements for rogue purchases.
- If you’re concerned that something may have been loaded onto your device,then disconnect the device from the internet and do not log back on until you have had your hard drive re-formated and your operating system re-installed. You may need to seek the advice of a computer specialist to do this – remember to backup any essential files before doing this.
REPORT A SCAM
Netsafe can’t open investigations or track scammers, but we can offer advice and use the information you give us to help track how this scam evolves, which in turn helps educate people about scams and aid those affected. You can report a scam to www.netsafe.org.nz/report.