Successor to Microsoft phone scam pops up in the United Kingdom

The phone scam where criminals call people at home telling them is a computer problem has a new variant. Previously the scammers pretended to be from Microsoft, in the new variant they pretend to be a support employee from the internet provider. The scammers try to convince users that there are issues with their internet connection and that they e.g. can make the connection faster.



Whatever internet problem the scammers try to make their victims believe, the solution always comes in software that needs to be installed. The software then provides full access to the victim's computer which is used to steal money.

The scammers tell the victim that he's entitled to a refund for the internet problems and ask him to login to his bank account to check whether the compensation has been properly received. While they show the victim a fake screen that the money has arrived, they actually transfer money from his bank account in the background.

The scammers may also ask for a bank passcode sent by text message or generated by a card reader, claiming that this is required to process the refund. But this code will actually enable them to set up a new payee and take funds from the victim’s account.


So far the scam has only been reported in the United Kingdom,  Financial Fraud Action UK reports an increase in reports about this scam. It's likely that the scam will also popup in other countries soon, just like with the Microsoft scam.

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