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Don’t become the victim of Screen Sharing Scams

As technology advances in our interconnected world, criminals are constantly finding new ways to target the public. One of these ways is through screen-sharing (remote session) scams. These scams involve criminals impersonating well-known companies to trick and deceive people into sharing sensitive information using screen-sharing technologies.

Understanding screen-sharing scams

Screen-sharing scams begin with an invitation to connect through text, email, pop-ups, or calls. They’re also called remote session scams. The fraudsters pose as representatives from reputable companies, claiming to offer assistance in resolving potential computer or account issues. Taking advantage of the victims’ trust, they manipulate individuals into downloading screen-sharing technologies under the guise of fixing alleged problems.

Do not let a scammer share your screen remotely. They can view your private information, such as passwords and account numbers, without your permission. Scammers often trick victims into logging into their bank accounts online to steal their money.

These criminals exploit the names of popular brands to attempt to deceive, trick, and defraud unsuspecting individuals. 

Protective Measures: 

To prevent yourself from falling victim to remote session scams, it is crucial to implement the following preventative measures:

  • Know the Receiver: Don’t trust caller ID alone, as scammers can make it appear as if they’re calling from a genuine company. It is essential to exercise caution when companies call asking about your information.
  • Double Check:Always make sure you know who you are talking to before sharing any information or allowing them to access your device, especially if they claim to represent a business you know. Look up their contact information from official sources, such as the company’s website or official customer service channels. Reach out to them directly to confirm the legitimacy of the request. 
  • Stay alert: if someone unexpectedly asks for access to your computer, mobile device, personal information, or money. Hang up immediately and refrain from providing any information. Legitimate companies would not make unsolicited requests to view your account or personal information. 
  • Control Screen Sharing: Never let someone you don’t know control your computer or phone remotely, and don’t give them personal information. Again, legitimate companies will not request such entry without your prior consent or without you initiating the process. 
  • App management is essential: Regularly review the apps installed on your mobile device. Delete any unwanted or unfamiliar apps because they could be malicious. Only trust apps downloaded through legitimate app stores, such as the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

Practice safe browsing habits: Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from unknown sources. Be cautious of pop-up windows that prompt you to install software or provide personal information. Stick to reputable websites and be cautious when visiting unfamiliar sites. 

  • Secure your operating system: Keep your operating system up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Regularly check your system updates and install them promptly to ensure you have the latest security measure in place. 
  • Learn About New Scams: Keep up to date with common scams by reading news articles, official warnings, and information from cybersecurity organizations. Awareness and knowledge are key in recognizing and avoiding potential threats. Reading this blog is a great start!
  • Be fraud smart: UCCU gives you tools to learn about and prevent fraud and learn how to prevent credit card fraud.
Steps to take if you suspect fraud

Take immediate action if you think you’ve unknowingly let a scammer access your device, or if you notice fraudulent activity. Follow these steps to mitigate potential damage and protect your accounts. 

  • Disconnect: If you’ve given remote access to someone who shouldn’t have it, immediately end the session. Disconnect your computer or mobile device from the internet to prevent further access. 
  • Stay calm and gather information: Take a deep breath and gather all the relevant information about the suspected fraud. Keep a record of your interactions with the scammer, the incident details, and any evidence like emails, messages, or screenshots.
  • Passwords: Change your passwords immediately for all online accounts, including banking, email, and social media if you suspect you’ve been scammed. Use strong and unique passwords for each platform, incorporating a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. 
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Active two-factor authentication whenever possible. Consider adding two-factor authentication for extra security. This means you’ll need to input a unique code sent to your phone, along with your password to access your accounts. This prevents a scammer from accessing your accounts with just your password because they would also need the unique code sent to your phone.
  • Contact relevant institutions: Immediately contact the company or financial institution where your account may be at risk. Report the suspicious activity and seek their assistance in securing your accounts and preventing further unauthorized access.
  • Report the incident: Contact the appropriate authorities and report the incident. This may include your local police department or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Provide them with the details of the fraud and any evidence you may have gathered. 
  • Monitor your accounts: Regularly monitor your financial accounts, credit reports, and other online platforms for any unauthorized activity. Promptly report any suspicious transactions or activities to the respective institutions to take appropriate actions.

Remember, it is important to act swiftly when you suspect fraud. The sooner you take action, the better chance you have of minimizing the damage and recovering any losses. 

Are you a member of UCCU? Report fraud and dispute a transaction here.

Always Be Cautious

Screen-sharing scams pose a significant threat in today’s digital landscape. By remaining vigilant, following preventive measures, and taking swift action in case of suspicion, you can protect yourself from falling victim to such scams.

Remember, it is essential to be cautious when sharing your screen or providing remote access to anyone. Always report any fraudulent activities to the relevant authorities and institutions. Stay proactive in safeguarding your personal information and digital assets.