It’s been known as the Microsoft scan and the Virus Scam, and now it may have morphed into the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) scam.
A phone scam, it usually goes something like this: a caller, claiming to represent a well-known technology company, tries to fool people into thinking there’s something wrong with their computer, and then talk them into allowing remote access to their desktop so it can be fixed. Of course, there is nothing wrong with their computer, at least not before granting the scammer access. After they’re done “fixing” it, malware and spyware has usually been installed.
Tony Niederer, director of marketing with the CDMN, told ITBusiness.ca that they’ve had several reports from members of the general public, claiming they’d had a suspicious call from a “Sam Spencer” claiming to represent the CDMN telling them their computer had been hacked, and requesting remote access to fix it.
No one by that name works for the CDMN, and Niederer it’s not a call their organization would ever make to someone.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “It’s very similar to the scam you probably heard about a year ago with Microsoft asking people to update their software. So we wanted to get the word out.”
No one appears to have had their computers compromised. Niederer said most people are probably familiar with this kind of scam. He added they’ve had no indication the calls are focused, or that their membership may have been targeted.
“It seems to be random members of the public (getting the calls),” said Niederer. “We’re primarily dealing business to business, but this is consumers and the general public.”
If someone ever receives a call from someone claiming to be from a company and they’re suspicious, Niederer recommends they contact the company to verify the call is legitimate.
“I’m not aware of any company that would do business in this manner,” he added.
If you believe you’ve come across phone scams, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.