Computer software service fraud is a growing crime trend. That’s why the City of London Police is running a campaign to help the public spot the signs of this type of fraud and the steps they can take to protect themselves.
Computer software service fraud occurs when fraudsters pose as legitimate companies, and contact you, claiming there is a problem with your device. They might say that they can fix the problem for a fee, or alternatively they can compensate you for the problem you are experiencing.
What these fraudsters really want is for you to unwittingly grant them remote access to your computer by installing software or visiting a particular website, and for you to give them your payment details.
Protect yourself against fraudsters
To help you protect yourself against fraudsters, there are some simple steps you can take. These are:
Treat all unsolicited phone calls and e-mails with scepticism and don’t give out any personal information. If you receive such communication, delete the e-mail or hang up the phone. Remember, computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer or e-mails about security updates.
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.
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.
If you need further assurance, you can contact the firm directly using the phone numbers obtained from their contract or other trusted sources.
The Computer Software Service frauds campaign
From 30 August to 1 September, the City of London Police will be tweeting from the @CyberProtectUK Twitter account about computer software service frauds, how to spot the signs, how to protect yourself against fraudsters, and the importance of reporting this fraud to Action Fraud. All tweets will use the hashtag #CSSFraud.
You can find out further information about how to avoid becoming a victim of Computer Software Service frauds by visiting the Action Fraud website.
If you are the victim of a computer software service fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/