By Tamsin Brown • 12 March 2022 • 11:20
Rodelar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute has issued a warning alerting people to the latest scam that is being used to target computer users.
The Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (Incibe) has warned of the rising number of fraudulent calls in which someone claiming to be a Microsoft technician tells the computer user that their device is infected with a virus and that they will need to fix it by installing a remote access application.
The caller is not a real Microsoft employee, but a cybercriminal posing as a technician from the company in order to take control of the victim’s device, reported Incibe in a statement on March 11.
The scammer asks the victim to download and install a remote access tool on their device. They then provide a series of instructions so that the two computers can be connected.
Documents, photos, videos and other files stored on the victim’s device become accessible to the cybercriminal and could be stolen. Other services, such as apps or social networks, could also be affected. “If you store passwords for social networks or email in the browser, the attacker could access and perform actions on your behalf,” warned the Incibe.
The integrity of the computer itself can be damaged, as it is common for the scammer to block the computer by installing malware and then request a payment to unlock it.
In some cases, victims have lost money after paying for the scammer to “remove the virus” from their device or providing bank details, either by telephone or via a website.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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