Police issue warning and top tips after spike in cybercrime

CREDIT: Pickpik

POLICE in Malaga city are offering advice to avoid becoming a victim of a cybercrime after a spike in incidents.
IN November, seven complaints were made in relation to computer fraud prompting officers from the Cybercrime Group to issue a warning.
They are advising the public not to trust calls from people claiming to be technicians from large companies in the computer sector, even when the calls are made in Spain, and to never provide bank details to these callers.
In this type of scam, victims receive a phone call from someone who presents himself as a computer security technician for a multinational technology company, offering a maintenance service”for life” or the installation of any antivirus for a minimal price.
If the client accepts, the fake technician requests remote monitoring of the device and, from that moment, the victim allows and authorises the fraudster to access their computer, along with bank details, passwords and other information.
During the call, which can last for hours, the injured party observes automatic actions on their computer, which the scammer justifies by claiming that they are due to viruses and/or Trojans on the device, reinforcing the victim’s belief that they have a real problem.
From that moment, a series of charges, transfers and other operations are made from the victim’s bank account, to Spanish and foreign accounts, or even to cryptocurrency purchase pages, which make it difficult to track the scammed capital.
The Cybercrime group is offering the following tips to prevent becoming a victim of this type of crime:

  • Do not give credibility to calls from people who claim to belong to any official service or body, even if the calls come from numbers with a Spanish prefix.
  • If you have provided bank details, contact your bank directly to block unauthorised transactions, and cancel cards to avoid additional charges.
  • If you have installed a program as indicated by the supposed operator, uninstall it and analyse your device with specific programs to assess that there really is no risk. The most effective measure would be to reinstall the entire operating system, which would remove any installed programs or malware.
  • Keep in mind some recommendations to always stay alert: when in doubt, do not provide the information requested and end the call. Perform a phone number search online – it may be identified as fraudulent. Go to the official source to verify the veracity of what they propose to you and, if it is a fraud, block the number so that they cannot call you again.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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