Trigger Fraud Alert #3 (October 2023)

Computer Software Service Fraud  – Fake Microsoft (spy alert fraud)

Humberside Police have informed us that victims are receiving a popup warning / error message / automated voice message on their computer saying their computer is infected / hacked and that access has been blocked (frozen screen) and for security reasons you need to call a telephone number provided.  

When you call the number the fraudster will convince the victim to either download Anydesk or give you a code to enter into the pop up message – both of these actions will allow the scammer to start controlling your computer. If a pop-up appears on your screen, don’t call any phone numbers or click on any links.    The scam is to gain access to your bank account or get you to send money.

What to do

If one of these pop-ups appears on your screen, close the browser and shut down your device, if the screen is frozen, hold down the power button on your computer to turn it off.

You might have received the pop-up because your device has been infected with malware or you’ve inadvertently visited a dodgy website in the past. Once you’ve turned your computer back on, conduct a scan using your antivirus software before going online again.

What to do if you’ve given a fraudster access to your device

If the remote access software is still running, press the disconnect button. Next, shut down your device and turn your wi-fi off at the router.

When you switch the device back on, remove the software.  You should be able to find it under your recent downloads. Check for any new programs or files installed by the fraudster. Finally, reset the passwords for any accounts you access using the device.  If you’ve lost money to this fraud, call your bank immediately using the number on the back of your card and report it to Humberside Police by calling 101.

Useful organisations:

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
The National Cyber Security Centre support the most critical organisations in the UK, the wider public sector, industry, SMEs as well as the general public. When incidents do occur, they provide effective incident response to minimise harm to the UK, help with recovery, and learn lessons for the future.

Cyber Aware
Cyber Aware provides advice on how to stay secure online and it is a campaign from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Get Safe Online
The UK’s leading awareness resource helping protect people, finances, devices and businesses from fraud, abuse and other issues encountered online.

UK – Safer Internet Centre
Internet Centre, where you can find e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet.

Victim Support
The charity Victim Support gives free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends, and anyone affected across England and Wales. Everyone who reports fraud to Action Fraud is given the option to receive support from Victim Support.

Action Fraud
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.