Cybercrime detectives warn of online hacking scam
Cybercrime detectives are warning people to beware of a scam being carried out by online offenders in Kent.
An elderly man from Sandwich lost almost £7,000 after being tricked into allowing a fraudster to access his internet bank account through a remote access tool.
The offender had posed as an employee from the victim’s broadband provider, who told him a hacker had been trying to steal money from him and that if he gave him access to his account then he could prevent this from happening.
National Crime Agency
A similar scam was attempted with an elderly couple from Seal in Sevenoaks, who were also told their computers had been hacked and this time transferred them to a man who falsely claimed to be an officer from the National Crime Agency.
He advised them to withdraw £5,000 cash and deposit it into two separate bank accounts for safekeeping but they eventually grew suspicious and reported the incident.
Another elderly couple, also from Seal, were targeted the same day but on this occasion were asked to purchase £5,000 worth of iTunes vouchers, which would be collected by a courier. They too realised it was a scam.
All three incidents happened in mid-December 2017.
Detective Inspector Jon Faulkner of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said:
‘Remote access software unfortunately gives fraudsters a wealth of new opportunities by which they can trick people, and their targets are usually those who are elderly, vulnerable or both.
‘Please remember that neither a police officer nor anyone from the National Crime Agency will ever ask to access your computer over the internet or to verify personal details such as passwords or account numbers.
‘We will also never ask a member of the public to withdraw cash or send a courier to collect money or items from them.
‘Anyone who wishes to check the credentials of a police officer should call 101, preferably by using a separate telephone in case the offenders have kept the line open when you think you have ended the call. To check the identity of an NCA officer, call their control centre on 0370 496 7622.’
Meanwhile, Kent Police has also received a number of calls relating to attempted frauds across Swanley and Maidstone.
Victims have reported being called by someone claiming to be a police officer. They are then told that money has been taken from their accounts and that it needs to be investigated, and that they should withdraw cash for a courier to collect.
Fortunately those targeted were able to spot the signs and report it before sharing any personal details.