New scam targets seniors, police warn

The Kingston Police Fraud Unit is warning the public regarding a scam targeting elderly members of the community.

Police say the victims receive a call from someone purporting to be from Amazon, and American area codes will be shown on the victim’s call display.

According to police, the victim is advised that they were mistakenly charged by Amazon. They are then asked to provide access to their computer so that a form can be sent to them, say police.

A form then appears on the victim’s computer, which they are asked to complete. Police believe that malware is surreptitiously downloaded onto the victim’s computer.

The victim’s bank account is then accessed by the culprits, who manage to take out money by initiating e-transfers and/or wire transfers.

In a public advisory, Kingston Police provides the following guidance:

• Do not answer calls from unknown or blocked numbers.
• Amazon does not normally phone people. Should you receive such a call, hang up. You can check with Amazon directly in regards to your Amazon account. (If you have an Amazon account, you can check all of your orders through their website.)
• Do not – under any circumstances – provide anyone access to your computer.

The Amazon scam is merely the latest variation on this scam which, under various pretexts, will try to get the victim to provide access.

If you have already done so, Kingston Police says you should take your computer to a specialist to get re-set and cleared of any malware and viruses.

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