We are aware of fraudsters claiming to be from Action Fraud contacting victims using automated phone calls in order to gain remote access to their computers and drain bank accounts.
How does this scam work?
Victims are receiving cold-calls from fraudsters purporting to represent Action Fraud. When the calls are answered, an automated voice asks the responder to “press 1 if you have made a report to Action Fraud.” When the responder presses 1, they are transferred to a fraudster.
Victims are informed that their computers have been hacked, which has led to their online bank account being compromised and funds being withdrawn. One particular victim was told that £40,000 had fraudulently left their account.
Questions that are commonly asked by fraudsters include asking whether the victim’s broadband router is displaying flashing lights, as well as asking for/confirming personal information.
This leads to the fraudster asking for remote access to the victim’s computer, via a remote access tool. Once the fraudster has gained remote access to the machine, they are often also able to access the victim’s online banking – either with permission or without.
The fraudsters have used the names, “Officer John Thompson”, “David Jones” and have been using several different telephone numbers, with “02921328585” appearing on multiple occasions.
Victims have later discovered that it was not Action Fraud that had contacted them and accessed their computer and banking systems.
What you need to do
- Even if the caller is able to provide you with details such as your full name, don’t give out any personal or financial information during a cold call. Never grant the caller remote access to your computer, never go to a website they give you and never install software as a result of the call.
- Action Fraud does not use an automated machine to speak to victims of fraud. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
- If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised, or if you believe you have been defrauded, contact your bank immediately.
- Stop all communication with the caller, make a note of their details and report it to us. Every reports matters.
- If you think you have downloaded a virus, consider having your computer looked at by a trusted technician in order to determine if malicious software was installed on your machine during the call.