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Alert for Businesses: Increase in remote access frauds – safeguard your business

A male looking concerned at his work lap top

Over the last two months, businesses nationally have lost over £3.8m to remote access frauds, confirms the national fraud reporting centre – Action Fraud. We want to empower Avon and Somerset businesses to make sure they don’t become a victim of this type of fraud.

According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau the common tactics used in remote access frauds includes:

  • They contact the victim claiming to be a representative from their bank or from a financial services salesperson
  • They are very skilled in convincing the victim to install a piece of software that enables remote access to their computer, claiming that it’s required to install an important software update
  • At some point during the call, the victim is instructed to login to their online banking account. Once the victim has done this, the remote access software is used to blur the victim’s screen whilst the scammer makes fraudulent transactions from the victim’s account without their knowledge.
  • The victim is also asked to read out a series of numbers the scammer claims they have sent to the victim’s mobile. In reality, the numbers are a one-time verification code from the victim’s bank which, if shared with the scammer, will allow them to transfer money out of the victim’s bank account.

Megan Haldane, Cyber Protect Officer said,

“Remote access fraud can be devastating for businesses. We want to empower businesses to be aware of this type of fraud and train their employees up, to make sure we can stop these frauds before they happen. We also know businesses often don’t report fraud and urge any business who has experienced any form of fraud to report direct to Action Fraud – to make sure we are aware of the extent of fraud across Avon and Somerset.”

Always remember:

  • Your bank will never ask you to grant remote access to your computer or smartphone
  • Any one-time verification codes sent to you by your bank should never be shared with anyone
  • If you believe your laptop, PC, tablet or phone has been infected with a virus or some other type of malware, follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s guidance on recovering an infected device – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/hacked-device-action-to-take 
  • Received a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from your bank? Hang up, wait a few minutes, then call your bank using the contact number on the back of your debit card, or use the contact information on their official website or app.

If your business has fallen victim to fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber-attack (in progress), please call 0300 123 2040 immediately.

Our Cyber Protect Team provides free cyber awareness workshops to local businesses, charities, and schools. For more information email CyberProtect@avonandsomerset.police.uk