Be Aware of Remote Access Scams

As scammers use new and seemingly more realistic, tactics to gain access to computers, remote access scams are becoming increasingly common. So, how does it work and what should you be on the lookout for? We’ve got you covered with the latest tactics we’ve seen.

Man looking at the computer with an access granted message displaying.

Step 1: First, scammers may send an email or text or will call potential targets with an invoice or automatic renewal notice that states the victim will get charged if they don’t respond.

Step 2: When the victim calls and states they don’t want their product or didn’t sign up for the bogus item or service, the scammer says they need to remote into their computer to verify that the software in question is not on their PC or mobile device. 

Step 3: Then, when they remote in, the scammer convinces their target to log into their online banking account to verify that the charges have been refunded. 

Step 4: Once the victim logs into their online banking account, the scammer has direct access to all of the victim’s accounts and has captured the victim’s online banking credentials. From this point forward, the scammer may transfer money to themselves or attempt other forms of fraud.

Step 5: If the scammer is unable to conduct fraud at this stage, they’ll try different tactics. One of which includes transferring an amount from savings to the main checking account, in an amount much greater than the charge that was first presented in the fake invoice or automatic renewal; they do this to make it look like a deposit has been made. The scammer then convinces the victim that they accidentally refunded too much money and the victim will need to purchase gift cards for the amount the scammer “deposited”, then share the gift card codes with the scammer.

At this point, a majority of victims realize that this is a scam and not the legitimate company they claimed to be. Scammers tend to use well-known and reputable companies to impersonate, including Geek Squad, Microsoft, Norton Antivirus and even local banks.

Note that Royal Bank will never ask for your username and password and will never call you to remote into your computer. If you’re contacted with an invoice or automatic renewal notice that you weren’t expecting, contact the company directly by searching their information online and verifying the charge. If the email is malicious, delete it immediately and do not click on any links.

If you have any questions or feel that you have been a victim of fraud, contact your local authorities or any Royal Bank location for additional resources.