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Threats to our digital security are developing and evolving every day. A recent rise in remote access scams means that fraudsters are relying on you to make a mistake, and provide them with access to your computer under false pretenses. Luckily, there are a few things to be aware of that can keep you safe from these threats.

A remote access scam is a form of fraud where someone poses as a representative of a legitimate company, and attempts to use persuasion to access a victim’s device. These attempts could come over the phone, through email, in online popups or via social media messages. They might even come from a service that you don’t have, or aren’t familiar with. 

These fraudsters can seek access under the guise of fixing an issue--like eliminating a virus on your computer or correcting an overpayment on your account.

No matter what reason is given to justify the need to access your computer, never allow anyone to access to your computer unsolicited

If you have a legitimate concern that there is an issue which needs to be addressed, always end the conversation and then contact the company that the person claims to represent, at a phone number or website that you know to be valid. 

Using pressure and claiming urgency is a common tactic that coerces people into committing rushed decisions, like giving fraudsters access to their computer. From there, it’s easy for a scammer to get into your accounts and conduct unauthorized transactions. If you receive an unsolicited call or communication from someone that claims to need access to your device, don’t get talked into providing any personal information. Most reputable companies would never ask for account information without you contacting them first and requesting a service.

If you do notice any suspicious activity on your accounts, always contact your financial institution immediately. Occasionally, people who engage in remote access scams have been known to conduct unauthorized transfers to deposit money into someone’s account, then contact that person claiming an overpayment needs to be corrected. Any request for payment (or repayment) via prepaid debit card, international wire transfer or in-branch transaction should be considered suspicious.

Of course, remote access scams are just one of many kinds of fraud, but First Tech always has your back. Be sure to visit our member security center for plenty more resources to help you safeguard your financial and personal information.