Remote Access Scams Costing Victims Thousands of Dollars
- Scammers are getting more sophisticated and aggressive and are launching remote access scams that cost victims thousands of dollars.
- A remote scam will start with the scammer contacting the target via email, text, or phone, posing to be a familiar company.
- The scammer will give a fake but credible story to trick the victim into granting them remote access to their computer.
- With access to your computer, the scammer can launch several attacks and ask the victim to pay to avoid compromising the computer.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that remote access scams are rising and costing victims thousands of dollars. In these scams, criminals gain access to a victim’s network or computer and then demand payment for not causing damage or stealing data. The BBB report says that people are getting scammed out as much as $20,000 with an average loss of $1,000.
What is Remote Access Scam?
A remote-access scam starts with you getting an email, phone call, or text saying that you’re being charged a certain amount for a software product — typically, an antivirus like McAfee, Trend Micro, or Norton.
The scammers may tell you that they have charged your credit card a certain amount for the software or will charge your credit card a specific amount. They may then tell you that if that’s an error, you should call a certain number they provide.
Since you’ve got an email, you don’t want. It’s logical to call the number. When you call, the scammers will apologize and say they want to ensure you aren’t getting charged for the software and ask you for remote access to your computer.
The scammer will sound professional and insist that they want to address errors in your computer to protect you from unnecessary costs. Since the scammers will sound knowledgeable, you can easily believe that you’re talking to the actual company and allow them to access your computer.
With the access, the criminal will have your data and everything on your computer. The attackers can:
- Steal files
- Get in and take your account information
- Rummage through your computer
- Install malware to give them access later
When done, the scammer will tell you they’ve taken care of everything and thank you. You’ll think that all is done and over with.
However, what the attackers have done is that they have installed the back door to your computer so that they can monitor your activities and see you logging in to your bank account or credit card company.
Later, when you’re not looking, they can get back and steal all your information.
The scams are often successful because the criminals create a sense of agency and exploit the fact that many people don’t know how to protect their computers from remote access.
The Best Defense Against Remote Access
There are a gazillion ways to keep yourself safe. However, the best defense against these attacks is to be aware of their existence and never give anyone remote access to your computer without verifying their identity first. You need to understand that there are these types of offers that legitimate companies don’t do.
If you see a telephone number — and it could be a toll-free number — your spider-sense should come on and say that that’s a scam. If the bank issued the credit card you have, call them.
Please take out your credit card and call the number on the back of the credit card to your bank and report it to them. Tell the bank that you’ve got a suspicious email and ask them if that is something that they know. The bank will tell you they haven’t sent an email. Avoid calling the telephone in the suspicious email pitch.
How Legit Businesses Handle Remote Access Scams
When you call the bank or any financial institution to report an attempted scam, they’ll advise against replying to the suspicious email, text, or call. Banks will ask you to forward the email to their security team so that they can flag what their customers are running into.
You should never respond to a number or email in unsolicited communication, especially if you get a phone call. Scammers today use phone calls to get you to part with your money.
Don’t Get Fooled With The New Scams
There are several new scams like the Google voice scams. Craigslist, Facebook, Market Place, and AARP report on the latest scams.
The Google voice scam starts with a phone call, and they’ll tell you that you’re about to get a verification code from Google voice, and you need to read them back. They’ll get you to give them your personal information, such as credit card numbers or any other sensitive information.
The scammers will tell you that there is an item that you might want to buy or pretend that they have found your pet, but they’ll be trying to find a way to get you to give them information that otherwise you wouldn’t give them.
Scammers Are Targeting The Elderly Who Aren’t Technically Adept
Criminals use social engineering, especially for older people who are more trusting than younger people. The scammers will try to convince seniors to share more sensitive information, pretending they need it to prevent unnecessary charges.
The approach usually convinces people unfamiliar with such scams, making them lose money to scammers. To help stop such scams, if you have older family members, you might talk to them. Ask them about receiving suspicious calls because scammers target the elderly, who aren’t more technically adept or aware of these scams than the young.
You should keep a keen eye for calls that seem out of place, especially if they’re coming with something you don’t know anything about.
Report Remote Access Scam to Alvarez Technology Group
If you think you have been a victim of a remote access scam, report it to Alvarez Technology Group. Fraud and cybercrime account for a large portion of all crimes in the U.S.
Reporting a scam to Alvarez Technology Group helps track down scammers, create awareness, and prevent other people from being scammed. Contact us today to report to help bring the scammers to light.