Keep an Eye Out for These Screen-Sharing Scams

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Screen Sharing

According to data conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the number of screen-sharing scams has nearly doubled in the last year, and over half of investors are unaware that they are being misled. Over £25 million has been lost in the UK alone as a result of this.

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Millions of dollars are being stolen by cybercriminals who lure victims into investment schemes and then use remote screen-sharing software to steal money, bank account information and other personal information. 

According to data conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the number of screen-sharing scams has nearly doubled in the last year, and over half of investors are unaware that they are being misled. Over £25 million has been lost in the UK alone as a result of this.

Screen Sharing Scam 

A screen-sharing scam is a way for a scammer to steal your information or gain access to your accounts in order to steal your money. You could be reached unexpectedly via social media or by phone. 

Once you’ve been contacted by a scammer, they’ll try to gain your trust by convincing you that they can help. The scammer will usually offer to download reputable screen-sharing software, whether it’s for assistance with an investment or a banking service.

This might be the software you’ve heard about or used with coworkers, friends, or family in the past. AnyDesk, Microsoft Teams, TeamViewer, and Zoom are just a few examples of this type of software. This can be done using your phone, laptop, or computer. 

Screen Sharing

Only if you download the software and allow them to take control of your screen will the scam be carried out. They can access your personal information once they get access to your screen. Any financial accounts, such as your internet banking, are included.

The number of screen-sharing frauds seen by the FCA increased by 86% to 683 in the six months from July to December 2021, compared to 367 in the same period the previous year. 

People who utilize popular online meeting programs in their workplaces have become accustomed to screen-sharing. Remote access software is a genuine technique for IT support services to troubleshoot problems without having to be present.

Scammers, on the other hand, are increasingly exploiting this familiarity to persuade victims to allow access to more than simply a screenshot of their screen. They are then persuaded to hand over control of their computer to the fraudsters by either expanding permissions or downloading remote access software, which gives them direct access to their online bank accounts. It also implies they can install their own malware at any time, giving them complete control. 

This is done under the appearance of being helpful, with the thieves offering to set up and oversee a new investment scheme. One scam victim, who requested anonymity, claims she lost thousands of pounds to con artists after attempting to diversify her investments in order to expand her money.

In spring 2021, she received a call from what appeared to be a respectable investment firm, telling her that she could make a significant profit on a £250 investment by downloading remote access software and letting the firm handle the rest.

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The Scam is Growing by The Day…

Many of the attacks are aimed at potential investors, particularly those wishing to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, because cyber criminals may take large sums of money in one go if they can successfully deceive these high-value targets into falling for hoaxes. 

91 percent of those polled by the FCA said they would never disclose their PIN to a stranger, but 85 percent didn’t think a website’s request to use or download software was a clue that someone was trying to get unauthorized access to personal data on their computer or smartphone.

Scammers will take advantage of this situation. In one case, a victim clicked on a Bitcoin advertisement online and then received a phone call from someone pretending to be a financial expert offering to assist her with her first bitcoin investment.

Scam Growth

The ‘advisor’ instructed her to download remote desktop screen-sharing software, which gave the scammers access to her financial information and other sensitive data on her computer. 

Scammers robbed the victim’s bank account and pension and used her stolen information to apply for loans fraudulently, causing her to lose more than £48,000 in total. The FCA claims that this is only one of the thousands of examples reported to its Consumer Helpline in which cyber thieves utilized screen-sharing services like Teams, TeamViewer, and Zoom to dupe customers into giving up remote control of their machines.

This is not only a financial risk since money might be lost, but it’s also a privacy issue because scammers could use that access to steal usernames and passwords for various online accounts. 

“Scammers have complete control over your screen once they obtain [access]. That implies they’ll have access to your private banking and investing information, as well as the flexibility to peruse at their leisure and take any information they desire.

“The FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward, said as much. “It can affect any investor, regardless of their level of experience. It’s quite difficult to recover money once it’s been lost in this manner, “He went on to say. 

The easiest approach to prevent being a victim of screen-sharing scams is to refuse to share your screen with any ‘investment’ advisors who request it, as this is a sure sign that they’re con artists.

“Real companies won’t ask you to do this,” Steward remarked. The FCA also maintains a warning list that customers may use to determine if the company they’re dealing with isn’t authorized or registered with the FCA, as well as a list of companies that are known to be scammers.

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    How To Protect Yourself Against Innovative Screen Sharing Scams 

    If a company or someone contacts you out of the blue, this is one of the key warning indicators of possible fraud. If you’re asked to share your screen or give someone else remote access to your phone or computer, it’s probably a fraud. 

    Even if you’ve looked up the company online and contacted them, you should never show them your screen. Scammers may attempt to gain your confidence, friendship, or sense of security. Be mindful of being pressed into making any decisions or accepting any proposals. If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is.

    You will feel safe knowing that experts with years of experience like the Global Payback will be guiding you! To get tips and guides, visit our news page.

    Sources

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    We is committed to upholding the journalistic standards online, including accuracy. We report news related to scams and we aim to be accurate in our reporting. Our policy is to review each issue on a case by case basis. Upon becoming aware of any potential error or need for clarification, we try act on it as quickly as possible. Please notify us first so that we can resolve the issue.

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