A new type of scam is spreading on the Internet. With screen sharing tools, scammers can take control of your computer and retrieve sensitive information, such as your bank details. According to the British financial sector regulator, more than 29 million euros have been stolen since January 2021
It was our neighbors on the other side of the English Channel who were the first to sound the alarm. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK financial regulator, said on May 5, 2022 that it had detected a new online scam, which allegedly allowed criminals to steal more than £ 25 million (about £ 29 million). ‘euros). ) since January 2021. The latter are intended to be investment advisors and offer to install new devices on your computer, with remote access or screen sharing software.
A tool already widely used in the professional world
You can use this tool at work. This is software that allows the computer support to take control of your computer, to solve the problems of your computer without the need to be present. This software can be called AnyDesk, TeamViewer, Teams or Zoom.
These are common and well-known computer programs, the names of which can be trusted. But scammers have also seen the possibilities offered by this remote control. Thanks to this, they can browse your machine as they wish and retrieve the information they are looking for …
€ 56,000 missing
This is what happened to Angela Underhill, a 59-year-old British woman. After clicking on a cryptocurrency ad, he received a call from someone claiming to be a financial advisor. She persuaded this lady to install the AnyDesk screen sharing application on her computer, which gave her free access to the financial data stored on her computer.
The bully stole Angela Underhill’s bank details, stole her pension and took out several loans in her name. In all, he was robbed of more than £ 48,000 (about € 56,000).
Also read: Brittany. The scammer opened bank accounts with fake identities
“Investment scams can last for months, but sharing your screen without making the necessary checks can change everything in an instant. explains Mark Steward, FCA’s law enforcement and market surveillance executive director. Once thieves access your screen, they have full control over it. This means that they have access to your confidential banking and investment information, are free to browse as they please, and can take all the details they want. »
Also read: Vitale card scam is targeted at victims via text messages
Scams on the rise
These scams have become increasingly important in recent months, says the FCA. Some 2,100 cases have been reported since July 2020. The regulator has seen an 86% increase to 683 between July and December 2021, compared to 367 in the same period last year.
And these scams can be hard to spot. “Screen-sharing scams tend to be incredibly sophisticated and, as the FCA rightly acknowledges, even the most experienced investors can be accepted by these scammers.” adds Rocio Concha, from the UK consumer organization Which ?, interviewed by UK Broadcasting BBC .
“If you have shared your screen with a scammer, try to regain control of your device using the logout button, which will allow you to log out. he advises. As a precaution, you can turn off the wifi or unplug the network cable to completely disconnect from any external connection. »