Terry Cutler – The Ethical Hacker
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Remote access scams

The latest financial scam involves hackers posing as investment advisors to entice unsuspecting victims. With remote access scams, a standard IT support tool for screen sharing, the fraudster advisors plant malware and gain access to their victims’ bank login information.

In fact, Fraudsters exploit people’s lack of technological understanding in remote access scams to trick them into sharing screens. Remote access allows unfettered control over apps, files, emails, documents, and history. 

Meanwhile, the fraudsters may have undetected access to your computer and files long after the remote access session has finished. It could lead to other cybercrimes, such as ransomware attacks or sextortion-type scams.

Usually, a person experiencing technical issues with their devices would reach out to a  trusted company and explain their problem to a technical support agent. Further, the agent should verify the user’s identity and ask that the user download or activate any remote access software. 

When you don’t make the call

It often starts with an unexpected cold call or pop-up message, “Call today or else…” A toll-free number is available in the pop-up. You could talk live or online with the fake advisor, who will

First, ask for remote access to your computer

Secondly, pretend to run a diagnostic test

Third, notify you of a security issue

Sell security subscriptions or repair services as a fourth step.

Then you are expected to pay.  The goal is always to have you pay through your bank via transfer. Now, the Fraudsters are in control. Consider the scenario where your data and sensitive information disappear in real-time. 

Defending against remote access

Never give anyone access to your computer.

If you receive a pop-up, call, or spam email about a virus on your computer, stop. Legitimate companies do not display pop-up warnings or ask you to call a toll-free number about viruses or security problems.

Don’t click on any links or call a phone number.

Never send any money.

Hang up on anyone calling claiming they are technical agents

Report the scam to fightspam.ca and antifraudcentre.ca

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