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Recently we have seen a huge spike in members of the general public receiving phone calls from people pretending to be from BT, Virgin Media and other broadband providers claiming that they have detected problems with your PC and they are calling to help.

This group are using social engineering to persuade people to install a remote control tool. They then proceed to steal passwords, etc. So far we are aware of attempted Fraud for as much as £10,000. This is not a Virus, this is a group who gain your trust and then access to your PC using free software. What makes this worse is that the group appears to be targeting OAP’s. From the 6 cases this week that we know of, all the victims where in the over 60’s group.


What is Social Engineering?

Criminals use social engineering as a way to manipulate someone into giving up private information or doing a task. Often, social engineering tricks the victim into providing passwords, banking information, etcetera. Yet, this example shows how criminals are using free software to get access to the victims device.

This group of criminals are choosing to target OAP’s, who are often less educated about the these kinds of risks. The criminals pretended to be staff from large firms such as BT and Virgin Media. This is a common tactic used in social engineering. The criminal will contact their victim stating that they are there to help, it’s all about gaining trust.

How do you prevent this from happening to you?

There are a few ways you can safe guard yourself against these scams. For example, you have received a call from someone working for your bank, don’t accept that the are who they say they are. If you are able to Google the number that they called you on, this will you if the number is legitimate. Or, if you feel that someone is trying to scam you hang up and go to the the firms website. You know this number is legitimate, call to check if there are any issues.

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