Beware of Remote Access Attempts!
A remote access scam typically begins with a phone call from someone who claims to have detected an issue or virus on your computer. They supposedly work for a large technology or computer software company that can fix the problem. To do so, they need access to the device and payment via gift cards, money transfer apps, or wire transfers. Here's the problem: there are no issues with your computer, and they don't need remote access.
We have recently seen a twist on this scam where fraudsters (after gaining access into the computer and the online banking account) say they are transferring you to the Fraud Department of the bank account they see in your online account.
Read the red flags below to help spot this kind of scam.
- An incoming call from a tech support company claims your computer/mobile device isn't working properly but you haven't detected any issues.
- A pop-up shows up on your computer claiming to have detected a virus with a phone number to call.
- In order to fix the issue, they need remote access to the computer/mobile device.
- You need to provide personal or financial information before it can be fixed.
- Gift cards are requested and once purchased; the fraudster asks for the numbers off the back of the card over the phone.
Tech support companies will never reach out to individuals via phone, text, or email claiming they have identified a problem. They rely on incoming calls to help their customers. If you are having an issue, call a number that you know and trust.
Once fraudsters have access to your device, they might also try and login to your online banking account. While they're logged in, they transfer your own money between accounts and claim to have provided a refund in error. They ask you to send this money on to remedy the situation in the form of gift cards or money transfers. They may ask you to set up a service such as Zelle to transfer funds. Remember to never give someone access to your online banking account by giving out your credentials or access to your device.
If you believe you have been a victim of a remote access scam, contact NBT Bank immediately at 1-800-NBT-BANK. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Here are a couple other general reminders on ongoing fraud trends:
- Never give out your online banking credentials to anyone and never share any OTP (one time pin) that may have been sent to your phone or email address.
- Do not purchase gift cards and scratch off the backs to give someone the numbers over the phone. Once the gift card numbers have been provided the money is gone.
- Do not fall for anyone asking you to mail cash to them. There are no “secure wallets” or “secure accounts” that require you to withdraw money from your bank account to put cash in the mail.