How to look out for account takeover scams 👀

Sonja Polimac

 · 11/23/2020  · 11/23/2020

While the internet has given us plenty of positive opportunities, it’s also provided scammers with more ways to trick people into giving away their money and personal information. One of the ways that they try to steal your money is via remote access scams.

Recently, we’ve seen an increase in the number of scammers posing as customer support agents, attempting to trick customers into providing control of their devices or computers, enter their Revolut accounts and steal their money by transferring it to other accounts.

What is remote access software?

Remote access software allows a fraudster to use one device to access another from any location by persuading the victim to download a smartphone app such as TeamViewer, or installing a programme on your computer. A simple passcode will then connect the two devices.

How can I spot a remote access scam?

Scammers often use fake or masked phone numbers to pose as customer support agents to lure you into providing your account details and personal information. Other scams involve customers receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be from a known company (such as your bank, telecoms provider, or e-commerce platform), in which the scammers try to convince you to grant them access to your device, claiming they will fix a problem with your account.

Once they have access, they may put up a fake screen and work in the background to download other software, transfer funds or steal passwords and other personal data.

TeamViewer is just one brand of remote access software reported as being misused by scammers. Other brands, such as AnyDesk, GoToAssist or LogMeIn may be used to remotely access your device or computer.

Revolut usually provides customer support only via our in-app chat. If someone contacts you via phone, it’s likely to be a scam. Our support agents would only contact you on rare occasions where you have specifically requested a call.

Phone numbers can easily be replicated, which unfortunately, is out of our control. Remember: Never download software requested by a remote agent. If you receive this request you are not speaking to Revolut. Never tell anyone your security details, including your PIN code or SMS authentication code. Our support agents will never ask for these as part of your verification.

Help, I think I’ve been targeted by scammers, what can I do?

If you have given remote access to your device or computer, or you fear that they have been hacked, there are a few things you can do.

  • Disconnect from the internet on your device or computer
  • Remove the remote access software from your device or computer
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact Revolut customer support immediately through the in-app chat to report the suspicious activity

We also encourage you to report scams to your local law enforcement or the police. If you’re based in the UK, you can report scams to Action Fraud UK, if you’re based outside of the UK should report scams to the cybercrime unit of your national police force. Contact information for this can be found on Europol's website.