Find out how screen sharing scams work, how to avoid these scams and what to do if you’re scammed.First published: 05/05/2022 Last updated: 20/03/2023 See all updates
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What are screen sharing scams
A screen sharing scam is the method someone might use to take information from you or access your accounts to transfer your money. You may be contacted out of the blue through social media or over the phone. Or when searching online for an investment opportunity or the contact details for a company.
Once a scammer has contacted you, they will try and gain your trust and convince you they can help. The type of scams may vary, whether that’s help with an investment or a banking service, the scammer will typically ask you to download legitimate screen sharing software.
This could be software you have heard of or have used before with work, friends or family. This could be software such as AnyDesk, Microsoft Teams, TeamViewer or Zoom. It could be through your phone, laptop or computer.
The scam can only take place if you download the software and allow them to take control of your screen. Once they have access to your screen, they can access your personal information. This includes any financial accounts, such as your online banking.
One of the main warning signs of a potential scam is if a firm or individual contacts you out of the blue. If you're asked to share your screen or provide remote access to your phone or computer, this is a warning sign it’s a scam.
How to protect yourself
Even if you have searched for company online and contacted the firm, you should never share your screen with them. Scammers may try to build trust, friendship or a sense of security with you. Be wary of being put under pressure to make any decisions. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Always be wary if you’re contacted out of the blue, pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
If you're contacted unexpectedly by a financial business or individual, make sure you reply using the contact details on the FS Register. Always check the FCA Warning List before dealing with a company, to find out if they are known to be operating without our authorisation.
Find out more on how to protect yourself from scams.
If you've been scammed
If you’re worried about a potential scam or you think you may have been contacted by a fraudster, report it to us. Call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form.
If you’ve already invested in a scam, fraudsters may try and target you again or sell your details to other criminals.
The follow-up scam may be completely separate or related to the previous fraud, such as an offer to get your money back or to buy back the investment after you pay a fee.