Credit: Dreamstime

The national consumer watchdog has revealed that Australian citizens have lost $4.4 million to scammers trying to gain access to their computers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) noticed an increase in scams impersonating well-known brands or the police in order to steal money or banking information.

ACCC’s Scamwatch website has recorded a significant spike in remote access scams with more than 8,000 reports recorded in 2018 so far and losses totalling $4.4 million.

“The spike in remote access scams is very concerning; losses so far in 2018 have already surpassed those for the whole of 2017, and sadly it is older Australians that are losing the most money,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

According to the ACCC, scammers will impersonate companies such as Telstra, NBN Co or Microsoft, as well as the police trying to convince citizens to give scammers access to their computers through software including TeamViewer.

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