19 September 2023
4 min read
Software scams typically involve criminals posing as representatives from trusted organisations, such as the police or your service provider, and ask you to download software onto one of your devices. This type of software is often referred to as RAT (Remote Access Technology).
Fraudsters will use a range of methods to contact you. Typically, they will verify your contact details with an initial fake text or email and then follow it up with a phone call.
Once they’ve made contact with you, they’ll usually try to persuade you to act in some way. Often with claims that there has been suspicious activity, a security compromise, or that you are due a refund of some sort. During this conversation, they’ll try to trick you and ask you to log in to your online bank account and/or emails.
Once the software has been downloaded, it allows the fraudsters to take over your device. They can present screens to stop you from seeing what they are doing on your device, so if you have logged in to your online bank account or emails, they’ll have full access and control. They can then attempt to make payments from your accounts without you realising, and stop any messages or contact attempts from us to warn you of suspicious activity.
To get a better idea of what software scams may look like, below, we’ve included a few examples of how fraudsters may try and execute software scams:
If somebody calls you, no matter who they say they are, it’s important that you never agree to download an app or software on to your laptop, computer, or mobile device. Especially if they then ask you to log in to your online banking accounts.
Remember – Never tell anyone your online banking verification codes or password, or your memorable number, not even us.
Important – If we suspect a fraudulent payment may be about to leave your account, we may text you to ask you to confirm if it is genuine or not first before the payment can be made. In a computer software scam, the criminal may have tried to move money from your account and they may tell you to ignore our security message and to just reply ‘yes’. If you are told to do this by someone over the phone, it’s a scam! You will be authorising the criminal to steal your money.
Fraudsters are criminals and those affected are victims. It’s important that we do what we can to help protect ourselves and those around us. Help us fight fraudsters and scams by keeping the below in mind.
Take Five is a national campaign that offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from fraud. Visit: takefive-stopfraud.org.uk for more information.
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