Recently a report was made to the Sarnia Police Service regarding an individual taken advantage of by scammers.
The victim received a phone call, early in the morning, advising that their bank account had fraudulent activity and they required information from the account holder. The suspects also requested that the victim download a program that would assist with securing accounts.
Ultimately, the program allowed the suspect to take over the victim’s computer and access all sorts of information. Upon seeing this, the complainant unplugged her computer and contacted her bank to freeze her accounts and credit cards.
No money was taken from the accounts but the victim was required to call other agencies such as TransUnion and Equifax to ensure no transactions were conducted.
Please be very cautious when receiving these sorts of calls. If you are suspicious or it seems as if the caller is requesting information that is sensitive, such as credit card numbers and passwords, please hang up and call the institution yourself. Take the time to find the phone number that relates to your institution and do not depend on the caller’s number.
Also, unless you have authenticated everything please do not download programs, such as in this case, where malware was present.
Do not panic and feel that you have to react instantly to the requests. Taking 5 more minutes to confirm information that may save you days of headaches.
These simple steps may help prevent such frauds from occurring.