CC image courtesy of o5Com on Flickr.
According to a report by the Newcastle Advertiser and its online counterpart, Looklocal, police sources confirmed the Microsoft scam being reported by residents.
Simon Luthuli, warrant officer and South African Police Services (SAPS) spokesperson, told the local publication a large number of residents reported a ‘Microsoft technician’ contacting them, saying a virus has been detected on their device.
Once accepted, the bogus technician then reportedly gives instructions to install a program, which is supposed to eliminate the virus.
The program has been identified as a remote access system, which, once installed, allows the fraudsters access to sensitive data such as emails and banking details. The fraudsters are able to do this from any location in the world.
Keith van Aarde, businessman and owner of EasyPC, told the Newcastle Advertiser that during the course of last week he assisted at least six people, and further advises those suspecting a scam to simply shut their computer down and seek advice from an IT expert.
Furthermore, Aarde advises people to “use your common sense”.