Scams involving the malicious use of remote access software continue to impact on local people.
Remote access software is legitimate software that allows someone to remotely access a computer from anywhere in the world. I find it particularly useful when my mother complains that her computer is not doing what she wants it to, so I can login from afar and resolve things. However, and as always, criminals exploit technology to do things they were not designed or intended for.
One example of the criminal use of remote access software would be a scammer making a telephone call purporting to be the bank, the police or an internet or telephone service provider. The scammer will ask or make an excuse to access the victim’s computer and deceive them to download and install software such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, Chrome and Microsoft Remote Desktop. (There are many others.) Once the criminal has access, they can then search private folders and files and possibly access online banking/financial services and transfer money. They may demand payment for removing a virus that never existed.
If you have concern for someone you feel is vulnerable to this type of scam, then, other than warning them, you could consider installing a ‘URL blocker’ on their browser. Such a blocker will prevent the user from accessing specific remote access software providers when instructed to do so by the scammer.
For more information about the scam and advice on preventing it please visit:
If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact your bank first and then report to Action Fraud.