Please do not allow anyone remote access to your device!
Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in Remote Access Scams of late. These types of scams often begin with a popup in your browser claiming your computer may be infected and to ring the number on screen to get it fixed, or a call from someone -usually a bank, saying they need to connect to your computer in order to cancel a fraudulent transaction on your account. Whichever way they try and gain access to your machine, the goal is almost always the same, to steal information or money.
Did you know that in 2021, Action Fraud received over 20,000 reports of people falling victim to Remote Access Scams with losses totalling over a staggering £57million!
Here are some things to remember to help better protect yourself from falling victim to this type of fraud.
1. A tech company, telecommunications provider, bank, or any type of service provider will never contact you out of the blue requesting remote access to your device – in fact, no one should ever request it without good reason. For example, one of our engineers may need access to your machine in order to rectify an issue, but this will almost always have been requested. And if it wasn’t, and you get a request that you are not 100% sure of, hang up and contact us separately via the number on our website.
2. Only ever install software or grant remote access to your computer if you are asked by someone you know and trust, like a family member or friend and NEVER as a result of an unsolicited phonecall, text message or browser pop-up.
3. Banks and other financial institutions will NEVER ask you to provide personal information or details about your account via a reply to an email. If you are unsure of something you have received, call them via a trusted number you find online at their site, rather than one given within an email, text message or phonecall you have received, as fraudsters could have changed the details so that you call them and they then pretend to be your bank.
4. It is okay to reject, refuse or ignore information that is requested of you by someone you are unsure of. Only criminals will ever try to rush or panic you. If in doubt, end the conversation and then find a legitimate way of contacting the company or person in question and ask whether they had just tried to get you to do something. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
If you ever think you may have been the victim of a Remote Access Scam:
If it was anything to do with money, immediately contact the affected bank via a different device to the one the scammer contacted you on. They may be able to help you mitigate any financial losses.
If you think your machine may have been compromised in some way, contact your IT Support company, again via a different device to the one that you think may have an issue.
The simple rule of thumb is, no matter who it is, Bank, ISP, Batman, don’t let anyone on your device who you don’t know and trust.
Stay safe out there.