Scammers pose as tech support staff from major software firms

Don't fall prey to scammers claiming to be the technical support staff of major software companies, police have warned. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Don't fall prey to scammers claiming to be the technical support staff of major software companies, police have warned. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Don't fall prey to scammers claiming to be the technical support staff of major software companies, police have warned.

In an advisory about a new software scam, police said they received several reports of victims who installed what is likely to be malware on their computers after following the instructions of callers whom they thought were from well-known software companies.

The callers would inform the victims that their computers required security or software updates and the victims would be asked to download and install software from the Internet, police said in the advisory.

The victims would also be asked to provide the software user account identification codes and passwords to the caller and in some instances, victims were instructed to enter some commands into their computers.

The victims observed that their computers were remotely controlled or files were deleted after following the instructions. The callers would then convince the victims to buy additional software by making online payments or by providing their credit card details.

Police have urged the public to ignore such calls, and to turn down request to make payment or divulge credit card and bank account details over the phone.

For those who have received such calls, and followed any of the caller's instructions, they are advised to immediately change their computer's log-in password and all other passwords associated with their online accounts, especially online banking and credit card passwords. Where possible, try changing the passwords from another computer other than the affected one, police said.

They should also scan their computers with a commercial anti-virus or anti-malware software to find out if malware has been installed on their machines.

They can call the police hotline on 1800-255 0000, or call 999 for urgent police assistance.

chuimin@sph.com.sg