How to spot a screen sharing scam
Screen-sharing fraud is a type of banking fraud where a hacker impersonates a bank employee or an investment agency and asks you to download a screen-sharing app for remote access.
The criminal behind the scam might try to convince you with several plausible excuses, such as easier registration and KYC of the application, guidance to usage of the application, better investment opportunities, access to new netbanking features, etc.
Remote screen sharing and control applications
‘Remote screen sharing and control’ applications have been developed with the good intention of making life easier and are delivered to the audience as an application to share the screen and control of the device to a remote person. However, since cybercriminals have discovered this handy tool, the software is also used for fraudulent activities such as recording the screen of unaware customers and remotely controlling the device to execute payments on behalf of customers.
Why would a scammer be targeting you with this?
As described above, the screen-sharing scam enables the scammers to control your computer remotely where they can send your money to their own account. It also enables the scammers to acquire your personal information, such as usernames and credit card details by posing as someone you trust, like Bitwala. They might try to contact you via emails, text messages or even phone calls, asking you to hand over your login credentials or personal information to access your online accounts for their personal gain.
In some cases, they might try to let you log in on a fake website that resembles the one of a company you trust or state some problem with your account which requires it to be fixed.
This can lead to taking control of your bank account, loss of funds and financial data, capturing of your sensitive information and hence is something that must be paid careful attention to. What are the warning signs? What you should look out for:
“Fraud in the remote sharing scam is possible if you grant access to your device.”
You should be aware that investment advisors posing to be your best friend can act in malicious ways if they contact you via phone calls, text messages or emails to install any remote sharing application like Anydesk, TeamViewer, etc as it can allow someone to remotely control your device, see your screen live or record it.
1. request access to your computer or phone to “transfer profits”. It’s a scam, don’t fall for it!
2. claim that Bitwala is their partner bank (we are not) and tell you that “there is nothing wrong with sharing access details”. You should never give remote access to anyone!
Spot the pattern:
An email / phone call / text message is received
You have been contacted by someone posing as a representative of Bitwala/some investment company with reasons such as some issues with your account, fixing the application, a good investment, etc.
You are asked to download an app
You will be asked to download an application from the App store or Play store such as Anydesk, TeamViewer, VNC Viewer, etc on your device and allow some permissions.
You are asked to share a code with them
They ask you to share a code generated by the downloaded application, such as a 9 digit code for Anydesk which will allow them to control your device. What to do if you detect you are a victim? Remove the remote sharing application immediately from the device Since the installed remote sharing application is the root of the problem, it is of prime importance to stop the access of the fraudster to your sensitive banking information. Simply closing the remote sharing application is not the solution since it can even run in the background and can also have access to your phone when it is locked. It is best to remove this application from the device immediately.
Check all the recent transactions and balance of your account
The best way to know if you are in immediate trouble is to check your transaction history and activity on your account.
Reset the credentials associated with your account
Even if you don’t notice any fishy transactions just yet which you didn’t make, but you followed the steps of the fraudster as above, then immediately reset your credentials since you are in danger of account misuse or fraudulent activity.
Here's how to stay safe from fraudulent activity:
- Do not share any personal information such as your credentials, PINpin, etc with anyone.
- Be alert to fraudulent calls/messages from fraudsters acting as customer support of Bitwala or some investment company asking you to download any application or making you change the settings of your application or phone.
- Do not forward any unsolicited SMS or email received on a so-called request from an acting representative from Bitwala/other company.
- Do not share any codes from any installed application on your device (such as the 9 digit Anydesk sharing code which will allow the attacker to control your device).
Safety while using Bitwala, whether it be online banking or trading, is an integral part of our mission. We want all our customers to feel safe online.