Back to Blog Index

Blog Posts

Fake computer help fraudsters steal £21m from 22,000 victims in the UK

Posted on 26th September 2018

Action Fraud are warning people to beware of computer software service fraud, that often starts with a phone call, email or a pop-up.

More than £21m has been stolen from over 22,000 people in the UK by fraudsters offering fake help with computer issues.

Action Fraud, the specialist nationwide reporting point for cyber crime run by City of London police, has launched a campaign to educate people about Computer Software Service fraud.

It can start with either a phone call, an email or a pop-up message appearing on your computer, telling you there's something wrong with it or with your internet connection, and claiming that it needs to be fixed.

The scammers will then demand payment to fix the issue, or they will trick victims into installing software on their computer which could allow the criminals to access personal and financial details.

Action Fraud stated it has received 22,609 reports of Computer Software Service fraud with a total of £21,365,360 being lost over the last financial year.

According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, men and women are equally susceptible to being targeted by the fraudsters, and victims are on average 63 years old.

Fraud became the most common type of crime in England and Wales in 2016 because of the increasing profits to be made through cyber fraud and computer misuse.

The forces are also encouraging businesses to warn customers that they will never be contacted in that way if any issues are detected.