Protect Yourself from the Next Wave of Electronic Device Scams

Advances in computer technology have led to unprecedented growth in various aspects of our lives. As beneficial as this progress has been, it’s opened the door to new kinds of risks.

As cyber threats evolve, it’s critical that companies remain vigilant and stay current with the latest technological trends and developments. The FBI recently issued a public service announcement, warning of a new tech support scam that incurred more than $2 million in adjusted losses between January 1, 2016 and April 30, 2016.

In this scam, fraudsters pose as employees or affiliates of a major computer software or security company and offer the victim technical support. They also may claim to work on behalf of a government agency that’s attempting to resolve computer threats from foreign countries or terrorist organizations. Usually imposters will claim their company has received an error or security notification from the victim’s electronic device.

Fraudsters usually make initial contact with victims via telephone, pop-up messages or a redirected website. Once imposters make verbal contact with their victim, they attempt to persuade the target to provide remote access to a personal device. When they’re remotely connected, the imposters will claim to find malware that can be removed for a fee. They collect their fees from personal debit or credit cards, electronic check, wire transfer or prepaid card.

The FBI recommends that victims take precautions to protect their identity, resist the urge to act quickly and cease all communication with impostors when they suspect fraud. Fraudsters who gain remote control access can take control of a victim’s device and seize control of bank accounts, passwords and personal data, install malware or make additional ransom requests. Legitimate software and security companies will never directly contact individuals unless the customer initiates contact. You should deny all remote access requests you receive from unknown third parties.

If you feel you or your organization have been a victim of this scam, file a complaint with the IC3 immediately at www.ic3.gov.

BKD Forensics & Valuation Services can help identify and reduce opportunities for fraud by reviewing internal audit procedures, recommending anti-fraud internal controls and conducting procedure reviews. Contact our team of certified fraud examiners, forensic accountants, certified computer forensics professionals and consulting attorneys to learn more.

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Michal has more than eight years of experience providing litigation support, forensic accounting, audit and advisory services in a variety of industries, including banking, construction, financial services, governmental, higher education, manufacturing, not-for-profit, real estate, retail, social services and transportation.

Michal Ploskonka – who has written posts on BKD Forensics.


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