06 Sep 2011

New Zealanders exposed to computer virus by scamming cold callers

A recent scam in Tauranga, New Zealand, involved cold calls, which told computer users they have a virus on their computer. The scammer then directs people to let them access their computer remotely and take a credit card payment, according to the New Zealand Police.

Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross said he received many calls from Tauranga residents informing him of the scamming cold caller and urged those who got the call to hang up the phone.

Glencross asked those who were scammed by the cold caller to take their computer to a local service provider to be checked.

Up to 10 million New Zealand dollars could have been taken from New Zealanders from another cold caller offering computer repair software, according to the Otago Daily Times.

"Our reports show one in 20 recipients are falling for this scam, losing an average of $200 each times," Jarrod Rendle, spokesman for the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' Scamwatch, told the paper.

Victims of the scam could have also had their identity stolen by the scammer. Once the scammer had access to a victims' computer, the scammer could steal bank passwords, and other sensitive information.