Australians are being warned to hang up on telemarketers who phone up and claim that their computer has a virus.
The scam, known as Windows Event Viewer - or simply 'eventvwr' - involves telemarketers requesting the recipient's authority to run a Windows program by the same name in order to fix bugs in the operating system. Other callers claim they can remove the virus for a fee and ask for people's credit card details.
Computerworld Australia conducted an initial investigation into the scam in 2009 when reports emerged that Australians were being phoned by call centres based in India.
According to Victoria Police, the scammer tries to convince the victim that they need to download software from a website that then gives the offender remote access to the computer.
“It is at this stage that spyware is often installed and personal information can be stolen by this software for months to come,” said Victoria Police senior constable Adam West in a statement.
“Microsoft does not make cold calls and people should hang up on unsolicited calls."
West warned consumers not to give out their credit card details or give anyone remote access to their computer
“If you feel that your computer has been compromised or has a virus then we suggest that you take it to a reputable computer repair shop."
In October 2012, a US district court judge froze the assets of organisations and individuals associated with the long-running scam.
The Federal Trade Commission cases targeted 14 corporate defendants and 17 individual defendants in six legal filings, Pecon Software Ltd., Finmaestros LLC, Zeal IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Virtual PC Solutions, Lakshmi Infosoul Services Pvt. Ltd., and PCCare247, Inc., and individual defendants in each of the cases.
For more information about the Windows Event Viewer scam, consumers can visit Microsoft’s security page.
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