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Vigilance if you are asked to share your screen, it may be a scam

AnyDesk, TeamViewer, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. You may be familiar with these software programs that allow computer media to take control of your computer remotely. However, in recent months, they have been particularly used by thugs to recover your sensitive data, particularly your bank details, and thus steal thousands of euros from you, reports the evening edition of Ouest-France, Monday, May 9. It is the regulator of the British financial sector, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who spotted this new online scam. Since January 2021, it would have made it possible to steal more than 25 million pounds, or around 29 million euros, from individuals.

How do the fishnets operate? They pose as investment advisers and offer to install new devices on the person’s computer. To do this, they go through remote screen sharing software. From this simple manipulation, they have access to all your station and can therefore retrieve the information they want. A 59-year-old Briton paid the price. As Ouest-France relates, she was called by an individual claiming to be a financial advisor, after clicking on an advertisement for a cryptocurrency. By convincing her to install AnyDesk, he was able to recover the banking data stored on his computer. He then stole his pension, took out several loans in his name, thus stealing nearly 56,000 euros from him.

Cases on the rise in 2021

Mark Steward, FCA’s Executive Director of Law Enforcement and Market Surveillance, points to the speed of the scam: “Sharing your screen without doing the necessary checks can change everything in an instant. . […] Once the scammers have access to your screen, they have full control of it.” This type of scam is said to be increasingly widespread, according to the FCA. Nearly 2,100 cases have been reported to it since July 2020, they even increased by 86% between July and December 2021.

However, screen sharing scams would be difficult to detect. They “are often incredibly sophisticated and […] even the most seasoned investors can be fooled by these scammers,” explained to the BBC Rocio Concha, who is part of UK consumer organization Which?. If this happens to you, he advises trying “to regain control of your device by using the disconnect button, allowing you to end the session”. You can also “turn off Wifi or unplug the network cable to completely disconnect from any external connection”.

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