Suffolk Trading Standards have received details recently of a resident in Suffolk who lost £3000 after being duped by bogus tech support callers.
Working from home, on her work laptop, she allowed the scammer remote access, providing the scammer with access to her personal financial details.
This incident has not only highlighted the scam, once again, but has also shown that the scam has wider implications. The victim’s workplace is now having to investigate as to whether the scammer was able to access any of the company’s information.
How the Scam Works
The caller will tell you that your computer has been sending error messages or that it has a virus. They may mention problems with your internet connection or your phone line and say this has affected your computer’s recent performance. They may claim that your broadband connection has been hacked.
The caller will request remote access to your computer to ‘find out what the problem is’.
The scammer may try to talk you into buying unnecessary software or a service to ‘fix’ the computer, or they may ask you for your personal details and your bank or credit card details.
More scammers are calling people trying to gain remote access to their computer to steal personal information. You shouldn’t be asked to pay for viruses to be cleared from your computer, or to fix any issues over the phone.
If you are called, don’t give them any details and hang up.
A common tool scammers use to log into your computer is ‘TeamViewer’. Therefore, it’s important to never check your account balance while a third party has remote access to your computer. As it’s possible that they can see what’s being displayed on your screen.
Report the call
To help tackle these calls, report any such incidents to Action Fraud. If you can, supply the name of the company (or at least, who they claimed to be), plus – if possible – the phone number they called you from.
Tel: 0300 123 2040
If you’ve been a victim
If you’re worried that you’ve granted access to your PC or given your bank details to an unsolicited caller, it’s important to take some key steps. Contact Action Fraud and seek a crime reference number to help you pursue any lost funds from your bank. Alert your bank to what has happened, and to be extra safe, run an up-to-date security scan.