Once the criminal has gained their victim’s trust, they will typically ask them to install a file which will help resolve an issue with their account or see how their ‘investment’ is performing. The victim who’s taken in by the caller, is often unaware of the risks, or true purpose behind this seemingly innocent request.
The criminal’s real intent is to get the victim to install legitimate screen-sharing or remote access software. Screen sharing software, such as Zoom or Teams, can be used by criminals as an opportunity to observe sensitive or private information, like the inputting of passcodes to access online banking or stores.
The other scenario is when a victim installs remote access software, such as AnyDesk, TeamViewer or LogMeIn, commonly used by IT technicians to fix equipment remotely, and gives a stranger full control of a computer, laptop, or phone.
At this point, the criminal has control of the victim’s computer and can access online bank accounts, emails, and business and personal information. They can also direct the victim to transfer money or carry out other online actions that could put them at risk.
This scam can only take place if you download the software and allow strangers access to your screen or device, so you should always be careful if someone asks you to share your screen or download screen-sharing software.