Press release from the Australian Institute of Criminology
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has been alerted by members of the public that criminal scammers are impersonating its staff in an attempt to gain access to computers, personal details and ultimately the money of their intended victims.
This is a classic cold-call scam - usually made in the early evening - and should be ignored and reported to Scamwatch.gov.au and the AIC. If a person has already been defrauded, the theft should be reported to the police.
These scammers deliberately target victims who they have already ripped off. The caller pretends to be some authority who is there to help - either to retrieve their money, prosecute the original scammer, or fix their ‘compromised’ computer.
In the past, this ‘help the victim’ methodology has been used on victims of Nigerian 419 email scams, romance scams and more elaborate investment scams.
These criminals are now using the good reputation of government agencies such as the AIC as cover for their activities.
It is important to note that the AIC is a criminology research agency and does not investigate actual fraud cases. That is a matter for the police.
If you have been approached by scammers or are the victim of a scam, please fill in the AIC’s 2012-2013 Scam Survey.