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Over £25 million lost in one year due to Screen Sharing Scams says Financial Conduct Authority

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched its latest ScamSmart campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the increasingly sophisticated investment scam tactics, and to help investors sport the warning signs by check its Warning List.

New research reveals that there has been an 87% increase in screen sharing scams in one year, with the research also revealing that 47% of investors would fail to identify a screen sharing scam as they would not see a request to use software or an app to access their device as a red flag.

The FCA surveyed 2,000 investors to understand what might be influencing potential victims and worryingly, the survey revealed 85% of respondents would not think a request by a website to use or download software as a warning sign that someone was seeking to gain illegal access to personal information on your device.

Unfortunately, a 59-year-old woman recently lost £48,000 to scammers when they used screen sharing software to take over her computer and access her banking history. The incident occurred when the individual was persuaded to download remote desktop software to secure an investment after clicking on an advertisement for bitcoin. As a result of this, scammers were able to access her banking details, her pension, and applied for loans on her behalf.

It's no secret that the pandemic increased the use of video conferencing and remote platforms for both work and socialising. This has led to scammers taking advantage of this for their own financial gain.

To help you to protect yourself from these scams, the FCA recommend you ask yourself these three important questions:

  1. Have you checked the FCA’s Scamsmart wesbite and Warning List? This will help you to avoid being scammed and show you whether or not the firm you are dealing with is registered or known to be suspicious.

  2. Are you being asked to download anything new? Your bank will never need to access your screen to view your information, so someone asking you to do this is a clear warning sign.

  3. Have you navigated away from your banking, or investment platform? Anything that takes you away from your banking or investment app, and through a search engine, increases the risk of coming across a fraudulent number or link.

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