Telephone Scam Alert
Gaining remote access to your online bank accounts
Most of us have heard about the telephone scam where a fraudster calls claiming to be from a reputable software or anti-virus company to say they need access to your computer in order to fix an issue. The scam involves getting access to your computer in order to secure banking or personal information. Sometimes, the motive is getting remote access to your computer, removing important data and then making demands for fees in order to then return the computer’s data to you.
Here’s a new twist on these telephone scams.
On Monday, a complainant contacted the North Bay Police Service to report that he was called by an unknown man who said he worked for a bank that wanted to provide him with a refund from a company that had gone out of business. The closed company, the scammer said, was refunding its customers for orders they could no longer fulfill.
The fraudster then instructed the complainant to give him remote access to his computer, which he did. He was then asked to log onto his bank account online, which he also did. The complainant then noticed money being transferred from one of his accounts to another. The fraudster then told the complainant that a portion of that transfer was his refund but that the complainant was required to send the balance to a foreign company in order to secure the refund.
Luckily, the complainant did not send funds and did the right thing by contacting his bank immediately.
Tips on how not to fall victim to telephone scams
Here are suggestions that should help ensure that you do not fall victim to the tactics of fraudulent telephone scams:
- DO NOT believe that everyone calling with an exciting promotion, an investment opportunity, a prize, a refund or a reward is trustworthy, especially if you do not know the caller or are not expecting a call from the company the caller claims to represent.
- DO NOT be fooled by call display. Often scammers will use caller ID “spoofing” to deliberately falsify the call display in order to disguise their true identity and to fool you into believing they are from a reputable company.
- DO NOT give unknown callers remote access to your computer.
- DO NOT be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
- DO NOT disclose information about your finances, bank accounts or credit cards (not even the credit card expiry date).
Simply hang up and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) to report the fraud. The CAFC is the central agency in Canada, based in North Bay and run by the RCMP, that collects information and criminal intelligence on telephone scams, letter scams, Internet fraud and identification theft complaints. Call Toll Free 1-888-495-8501 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit www.antifraudcentre.ca for more information.