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Screen-sharing scam warning

By David G Scott

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned of a surge in screen-sharing scams, which allow fraudsters to embed themselves in victims’ digital devices and access online banking and investment details.

The FCA said criminals are taking advantage of a growing familiarity with requests for screen sharing, as the Covid pandemic has increased people’s reliance on video conferencing and remote platforms to work and socialise.

Scammer at work.
Scammer at work.

Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumer advice service consumeradvice.scot, said: “Unfortunately, we have seen throughout the pandemic that fraudsters will seem to exploit the public health crisis at any opportunity to gain personal information and bank details.

“Previous scams have included attempts to target the contact tracing programme and the vaccination roll-out, as well as the sale of counterfeit PPE. This warning from the FCA shows that scammers are now targeting the increase in online meetings brought about by a shift towards remote and hybrid working.

“We urge all Scots to remain scam aware, and to think very carefully before clicking links from unknown parties. If you think a message, email or screen-sharing request doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t.”

consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; and online, web chat and email at www.consumeradvice.scot

Scams and suspicious activity can be reported to www.scamwatch.scot

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