A TAMWORTH man who fell victim to a sophisticated scam has warned residents to be wary of callers posing as Telstra computer technicians.
Will Shave, 22, is still kicking himself after being duped into giving a conman access to his online bank accounts.
The momentary lapse of judgment saw the hacker withdraw $150 of Mr Shave’s savings and gain complete control over his computer.
Mr Shave, who is studying graphic design and “understands computers”, said if it could happen to him, then it could happen to anyone.
“When you question them they say things to make you feel guilty like that they’re staying back late to do you a favour and that they’re not out to do you any harm,” he said.
“They’re just so confident in the way they announce they’re from Telstra and are calling to help you.
“They were extremely well-organised and they had all my personal information, all my internet details and what they were saying sounded so real.”
The sting started on Monday night when Mr Shave answered a call to his Nancy St home from a man introducing himself as
Telstra computer expert.
The man said that Telstra was aware his internet had slowed a few days before – which it had – and that hackers attacking his computer were to blame.
“It all really did make sense and silly me didn’t question it enough,” Mr Shave said. “It was suspicious all the way through, and yet it seemed legitimate.”
Mr Shave was directed to download two computer programs that ultimately would allow the scammer the ability to remotely access the computer and install
He was then told that in order to ensure his banking security had not been breached by the so-called hackers, he needed to log in to his Commonwealth Bank account.
“Stupidly, I did,” he said.
The result was that $150 was transferred into an Indian account, although once Mr Shave twigged to the scam, he was able to contact his bank and have it cancelled.
Mr Shave, who has reported the incident to local police, maintains he had nagging doubts during the entire process.
However, he said each time he was close to ending the call, the conman would do or say something – such as feigning a call to the Commonwealth Bank – to ease his mind.
“It’s just a sickly feeling (when you know you’ve been scammed),” he said. “Every password I’ve ever had will have to be changed and a new bank account had to be opened.
“The only way to handle these calls is to simply hang up on them.”
Telstra Country Wide North West NSW area general manager for Tricia Wilson said customers should be cautious when receiving calls from people claiming to be affiliated with Telstra.
“Never give your personal information or bank account details over the phone and always ask for the name of the person and the company they represent,” she said.
“If you are feeling unsure, just say ‘no thank you’.”
To report a concern about a rogue telemarketer or hoax caller, call Telstra on 1800 260 270.