News from the Village of Belmesthorpe – Sept 2020

How to spot a Remote Access scam

A Remote Access scam is when criminals contact you out of the blue, pretending to be the representative of a reputable organisation. This may be a telephone or internet provider or sometimes a bank or other service provider.

Once the criminals have your attention, you’ll usually be offered services such as;

  • Fixing, upgrading or protecting your computer or device, internet service or the websites you use
  • Help getting you a refund for an overpayment
  • Help stopping a payment from leaving your account

In order to provide you with their ‘help’, criminals will typically ask you to assist by allowing them access to your computer or mobile device. To do this, they may ask you to download software to your computer, or download an app to your mobile device, and accept their request for access.

They may have told you a story about why you need to make a payment or they’ll set up the payment themselves, if they have access to your Online Banking. To complete their scam they’ll need you to take some action. Usually, they’ll ask you to share codes sent to your phone (OTPs) or authorise activity yourself through the Mobile Banking app.

If you ever get a call like this, hang up immediately.

Courier Fraud

Courier Fraud occurs when a fraudster contacts victims by telephone claiming to be a police officer or bank official or to work for the government, including HMRC. The caller sounds plausible and may confirm the victim’s name and address, basic information which can be obtained easily.

There are a couple of different ways in which people are then defrauded. In some instances, after trust has been gained, the fraudster will claim money has been withdrawn from the victim’s account by staff within the bank. They persuade them to go to their local branch to take out a large sum of money from their account. The fraudsters then send someone to collect the money from the victim’s home address “as evidence”.

In other cases, the victim is encouraged to “transfer money to a ‘Safe Account’ ”. Neither the Banks nor the Police will EVER ask you to do this and the phrase SAFE ACCOUNT is a sure fire confirmation this is a fraud! Finally, the victim will sometimes be allegedly contacted by a Police Officer regarding suspicious transactions on their account and advised that they need to send an unmarked car to collect the victim’s banks cards and/or personal information to help the investigation.

Neither the Police nor the banks will ever contact people in this way. If you get a call like this HANG UP. If you need to contact your bank to check, wait a couple of minutes before dialling out, or use a different line altogether, in order to ensure you are not still talking to the fraudster.

Leicestershire Police are asking people to remain vigilant, and in particular to ensure that elderly neighbours or relatives, who may not have access to their community alerts, are advised of this advice. Sadly, they report numbers of victims who have lost thousands of pounds.

Adrian Gombault
Board Member, Rutland Neighbourhood Watch Association