Scam callers claiming to be from Spark clean out elderly Auckland man's bank account

Spark is investigating fraud scams in which people claiming to be from the telco call its customers and tell them there's a virus on their computer or it has been hacked, to try to trick them into giving the fraudster access to the device.

Source: 1 NEWS

A Spark spokesperson has told 1 NEWS NOW an elderly Auckland man was taken in by a scam and had his bank account cleaned out just before Christmas.

A person claiming to be a Spark staff member calls its customers saying they have a virus in their modem and that the telco needs to take over the computer to sort it out.

The scammers took valuable information from the Auckland man's computer that enabled them to take money from his bank account, and even provided a phone number for him to call back and verify that the call to him had been genuine.

The Spark spokesperson says the company does not call customers telling them there's a virus on their computer or wanting to take control of it, and never asks for passwords.

She says if a call purporting to be from Spark sounds suspicious it probably is, and if in any doubt people should hang up and call Spark itself.

The company believes the fake calls about viruses are being made from offshore, believed to be India, she says.

The spokesperson says Spark tried to shut down the phone line being used by these scammers but couldn't because it was with another telco, but has reported the virus scam to the other provider.

She says Spark's large fraud team works with the police, Netsafe and Internal Affairs to combat fraud scams, of which there are many.

She also says the scammers tend to be targeting older people and when they hear an older person's voice, ramp up the supposed seriousness of the issue and bamboozle them.