One of our members reported the following attempted scam to us.
Last weekend, after experiencing issues with her internet access for some time, she was contacted by phone by an individual claiming to be a representative from her service provider responding to her problem. This did not in itself give any cause for concern as she had made a complaint re her service and was told that someone would call her back.
The individual asked to make remote checks on her computer. He also requested that she give him the rights to navigate her computer. This she did. He also asked her to switch off her mobile phone and tablet and any other devices that she had. She was then informed that her computer had been compromised.
She was asked to go on to her online banking. When this was queried by her the man said that, to ally her fears that the call was not legitimate, he would quote the code that she had on her router. The code that he gave matched the code on her router.
At this point she began to feel nervous and then noticed that all of the cash had been removed from her bank account. She was advised again to not turn on her phone. Panicking, she did turn on her phone and received a message asking whether she consented to the transaction. She mentioned this to the caller who said that she should not have turned on her phone and that the bank message was a scam.
At this point she recalled the session that she had attended on scams awareness arranged by Caring Together. She did not answer yes or no to the bank message instead opting to call the bank. After getting through she was informed that they had not released the funds and the attempted theft had not been successful.
In all, the call lasted for approximately 2.5 hours.
This was an extremely traumatising experience for our member particularly given that the call and its premise had seemed so plausible.
Caring Together contacted West Yorkshire Trading Standards and made them aware of the incident.
Caring Together regularly arranges training on scams awareness in conjunction with the SAFER Project within West Yorkshire Trading Standards. We have been doing this for many years. It is incidents like this that show the value of this type of joint work.