Press Release

Information and awareness regarding the typology of fraud concerning telephone calls for 'alleged' computer failure (technical support scams)

The HBA informs the public of a new typology of fraud recently emerged, which uses the method of repairing an alleged computer failure or providing technical support scams. Fraudsters usually call unsuspecting citizens from abroad and impersonate technicians representing a large IT company. The telephone conversation is frequently conducted in English. On the pretext that their computer and/or mobile device is "infected" by malware, they ask citizens to install remote access software, in order to supposedly repair - fix the problem.

These applications, once installed, allow the fraudsters to gain full control over the electronic devices of unsuspecting citizens, whom they deceive in order to detach their personal access codes for e-banking (user name, password, etc.), as well as One-Time-Password/OPT they receive via SMS. Then, fraudsters transfer money from their victims' e-banking accounts to bank accounts controlled by themselves or their accomplices.

Banks are not able to know whether one of their e-banking customers has fall victim of such deception and cannot take any action for preventing and deterring such malicious acts. For this reason, banks inform the public accordingly, since awareness and cooperation of all parties involved is the best way to deter and prevent electronic fraud, especially now, when the use of electronic services has significantly increased worldwide due to the pandemic crisis. Aspiring fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this special circumstance, and the only way to stop them is to act proactively.

Useful Tips, What can I do?

  • If you receive a phone call from an unknown caller/number, especially from abroad, who claims to represent any IT company, without having previously reported a fault in your computer, immediately disrupt the call
  • Never install any remote management software proposed by unknown callers/strangers
  • Do not disclose to third parties, for any reason, your personal codes (e-banking passwords, OTPs you receive via SMS etc.) as well as your personal and financial information
  • If you have fell victim of such fraud and discovered transactions effected without your approval, please inform your bank immediately