Action Fraud: Protect yourself from remote access tool scams
Crime / Mon 11th Dec 2023 at 03:57pm
What are remote access tool scams?
REMOTE access tool scams will often begin with a browser pop-up saying that your computer is infected with a virus, or with a call from someone claiming to be from your bank saying that they need to connect to your computer in order to cancel a fraudulent transaction on your account.
Criminals will try to persuade the victim to download and connect via a remote access tool, which allows the criminal to gain access to the victims computer or mobile phone. If the victim allows the criminal connection via the tool, they are able to steal money and access the victims banking information.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said:
“While remote access tools are safe when used legitimately, we want the public to be aware that they can be misused by criminals to perpetrate fraud. We often see criminals posing as legitimate businesses in order to trick people into handing over control of their computer or smartphone.
“You should only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member, and never as a result of an unsolicited call, browser pop-up or text message.”
In one case, a victim lost over £20,000 after they received a call from someone claiming to be from Sky stating that there was a problem with their Sky box. The suspect persuaded the victim to download a remote access tool to their device which enabled the suspect to access the victim’s online banking and make a number of transfers to an account under the suspect’s control.
Another victim lost over £1,000 after they received a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon stating that they were processing a payment for an Amazon Prime membership. The victim told the suspect that they hadn’t subscribed to Amazon Prime but clicked on a link provided by the suspect to cancel the membership. The link downloaded a remote access tool to their device which enabled the suspect to access the victim’s online banking and empty their account.
How to protect yourself
Action Fraud also advises that the public follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to keep themselves safe from fraud.