Caller claims to be from ‘cyber crimes squad’ in Canberra and asks for $400

In what’s believed to be a new scam, a caller has claimed to be from the “cyber crimes squad” in Canberra. 

A Forbes resident received the call on their home phone on Wednesday afternoon, and the caller claimed they were investigating a case of identity theft. They then asked for access to the resident’s computer. 

After a lengthy period of time on the phone, during which the caller was described as “very convincing”, they asked the resident to pay a $400 fee to regain access to their own computer.  

The caller was willing to reduce the fee to $300 and was to call back in half an hour, but the resident didn’t hear any more from them and reported the matter to Forbes police. 

Police are still investigating whether bank accounts have been accessed.  

They urge local residents not to give cold callers remote access to their computer, or to release bank account or other details to them.

Last week police warned they had received a number of reports of scammers trying to get iTunes vouchers from potential victims. 

Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Constable Daniel Greef said the scammer contacts a person advising them either that their computer may have a fault and they need to be paid to repair it; that the tax office has a warrant for their arrest and they can pay the fine with iTunes cards or to pay a release fee for an additional payment, such as from Centrelink; and other similar stories.

“The scammer demands that the victim attends a local shop and buys iTunes gift cards to pay, sometimes thousands of dollars of value,” Senior Constable Greef said.

“If someone asks you to pay for anything with iTunes cards, it is a scam,” Senior Constable Greef said.