22,000 victims in the UK have suffered loss from fraudsters making fake Computer Problem ‘fix it’ offers online.
‘If it’s wrong, fix it’ goes the usual refrain. But what if nothing is wrong, someone just makes it look like it needs fixing. That’s the M.O of fraudsters everywhere, not just in Nigeria.
Action Fraud is a specialist nationwide campaign launched by the London police. It aims to educate people about computer Software Service Fraud. The methods are the same etched in the unwritten fraudster manual.
It can start with either a phone call, an email or a pop-up message appearing on your computer, telling you there’s something wrong with it or with your internet connection, and claiming that it needs to be fixed.
The scammers will then demand payment to fix the issue, or they will trick victims into installing software on their computer which could allow the criminals to access personal and financial details.
Action Fraud stated it received 22,609 reports of Computer Software Service fraud with a total of £21,365,360 being lost over the last financial year.
According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, men and women are equally susceptible to being targeted by the fraudsters, and victims are on average 63 years old.
Fraud became the most common type of crime in England and Wales in 2016 because of the increased profits to be made through cyber fraud and computer misuse.
The Action is also sensitizing businesses to clarify how they communicate with their customers on all their social media pages, to reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudulent request online.
City of London Police’s Lara Xenoudakis said: ‘These fraudsters prey on vulnerable victims, doing everything they can to convince them there is something wrong with their computer.’
‘They use this as a way to gain immediate and in some cases multiple payments from the victim.’
‘During this campaign week, we are asking people to do everything they can to protect themselves from this type of fraud and stop fraudsters from thinking that this is an easy way to make money from unsuspecting victims.’