Computer Software Service Fraud - follow-up calls

You should be careful when asked to pay 'owed money'. Sometimes people who were scammed earlier by computer software service fraud (CSSF) are contacted about debts they don't owe.

What has happened

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reports that CSSF scammers are returning to contact previous victims, requesting that they pay money owed for a fake malware protection service they had provided. Alternatively, the fraudster will ask for a new subscription fee in return for protection from a new threat. The victims that have made payments to the fraudsters have done so via credit/debit card payments. Sometimes threatening and aggressive language was used to force people into sending money.

Computer software service fraud involves the victim being contacted, told that there is a problem with their computer, and that for a fee this issue can be resolved. The fraudster wants to get remote access to the victim’s computer and access their online banking account. No fix actually occurs. The victims will often be cold-called or will receive a pop-up on their computer, prompting them to phone the suspect.

What you need to do

If you receive an unsolicited call:

  • don't make a payment
  • make sure you know who you are talking to - if in doubt, hang up immediately
  • don't allow remote access to your computer
  • don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision - a genuine bank or another trusted organisation won't force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
  • remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions
  • listen to your instincts - if something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it
  • remember that criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home - they may appear trustworthy, but they may not be who they claim to be

To get more information about protecting your online information, go to:

Report fraudulent telephone calls

If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters, report it online to Action Fraud or by phoning 0300 123 2040.

You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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