Australians are increasingly falling victim to remote access scams, losing AU$4.4 million so far this year from a reported 8,000 scam attempts. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the scammers claim they are tracking a scammer or hacker and that the individual's computer is being used to send scam messages. The scammer on the end of the phone convinces the victim they can help "trap" the fake scammer and gains access to internet banking through screen-sharing software such as TeamViewer when they oblige with the request to steal money. The ACCC's Scamwatch reports that the scammers are pretending to be from the likes of Telstra, the National Broadband Network (NBN) company, Microsoft, and even the police to gain the trust of victims. "The spike in remote access scams is very concerning; losses so far in 2018 have already surpassed those for the whole of 2017, and sadly it is older Australians that are losing the most money," ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
A warning has been issued by UK watchdogs of a rise in clone company scams targeting those looking for investment opportunities to recover financially from COVID-19. On Wednesday, the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued an alert to the public concerning "clone company" scams which appear to be claiming not only novice investors but also veteran players in the market. The FCA says that these forms of scams are on rise, with increased rates reported since the UK went into its first lockdown during March 2020. In total, investors have lost over £78 million ($107m), a figure which is likely to continue to rise. Average losses are reported as £45,242 per victim, according to Action Fraud research. Clone company investment scams go beyond typical phishing emails or dubious social media links promising an immediate return on your cash.
Last year, more than 15,000 victims lost some $210 million in "confidence frauds" and romance scams, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The lesson: Meeting people online comes with risks. And the way to protect yourself or someone you love isn't as simple as "Don't be foolish." Smart people fall prey to scams. Scammers are really good at what they do.
Get in touch with Keepnet for the best phishing awareness training. In Episode 8, Keith falls into a Catfishing scam through an online dating website. Online dating scams are extremely common and relatively easy to pull off for the hacker. They use peoples emotions to draw them in, then use their victim to commit bank fraud, money laundering, and other illegal activities. The end result of a Catfishing scam can leave the victim in severe legal trouble and can negatively impact their lives both personally and professionally.
Anna Rowe had a whirlwind romance with Antony Ray after meeting him through the dating app Tinder. But their 14-month relationship came crashing down when she discovered his profile was a fake. In fact, he was a married dad who had initially used photos of a Bollywood actor on his profile and had lured in other women too. "He used me like a hotel with benefits under the disguise of a romantic, loving relationship that he knew I craved," says Anna. The practice of using a fake profile to start an online romance is known as "catfishing".