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April 2021
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Phone Scams - Yes, They Still Happen

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In today’s age of Zoom calls, online banking, and crypto currency, it may be hard to believe that the good old phone scam still happens, but you would be mistaken! In fact, phone scams are getting increasingly more common as phone auto-diallers have gotten much simpler to access, internet calling technologies have become more mainstream, and remote connection tools have been built to be more accessible and easier to use.

Luckily, these scams are easy to protect against. You simply need to not do what they say and hang up the call. But in order to know that you need to protect yourself, you first need to know how to know that the person on the other end of the call is a scammer.

Scammers will use aggressive fear tactics to convince you to co-operate, such as convincing you that you have been overpaid, and demanding you repay the excess amount back (which you never received in the first place), threatening you with disconnection of your service (which they have no ability to do), or even stating that the welfare of a family member relies on your co-operation.

Computer Security – Don’t give them control

If a scammer can convince you enough with their initial spiel on the phone, often the next step will be to get you to give them remote access to your machine, and make you log into your online banking so they can ‘prove’ what they are saying is true.

Once they have gotten this far, they will likely black out your screen to hide their actions from you and edit what your online banking webpage shows to list a transaction at a much higher amount than it was (yes this is possible). Once your screen is visible to you again, they will convince you to repay that money. Of course, this is all a scam, and simply refreshing your webpage will return all amounts to the correct value.

Protect Yourself

To help you protect yourself against these scams, here is a few tips that can help you identify a scammer:

  • Scam calls will commonly come from unidentifiable or hidden phone numbers.
  • No company will ever ask you to provide them remote access to your computer to ‘prove’ to you what they are saying is true.
  • If you thought you saw one thing before but are seeing something different now (such as the amount of a transaction), it is likely because it was changed on your screen.

Once you have identified a scam caller, simply hang up the phone. If you have provided them access to your computer, immediately turn off your computer and advise your Technical Support Team so they can make sure nothing nasty has been left behind.

Do not worry if you have spoken to a scammer, the only way they can succeed is if you send them what they are telling you to. If you have sent off money, contact your bank for assistance straight away, otherwise congratulate yourself for identifying them and not doing that they said!

Help me protect my business!

If you would like to know how you can protect your business and data assets from scams, feel free to contact us today and our team of cyber security experts at Cloudwize will help.

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