Find out how screen sharing scams work, how to avoid these scams and what to do if you are scammed.
What are screen sharing scams?
A screen sharing scam is the method a scammer 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. Examples of this type of software include, but are not limited to, AnyDesk, Microsoft Teams, TeamViewer, Zoom. This 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 to your personal information. Including any financial accounts, such as your online banking.
How to protect yourself
One of the main warning signs of a potential scam is if a firm or individual contacts you out of the blue. If you are asked to share your screen or provide remote access to your phone or computer, this is a warning sign it’s a scam.
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, and any offers you receive. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
More information on how to avoid investment scams.
Check the FCA Warning List
Always check the FCA Warning List before dealing with a company, to find out if they are known to be operating without our authorisation.
How to report a screen sharing scam
If you think you’ve been in contact with a scammer, or that you may have been scammed and lost money, you can report the firm or scam to us by contacting our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or using our reporting form.
If you’ve given your bank account details to a firm you think may be operating a scam, tell your bank immediately.
If you've agreed to transfer your pension and now suspect a scam, contact your pension provider straight away. They may be able to stop a transfer that hasn't taken place yet.
Watch out for future scams
If you’ve already invested in a scam, then fraudsters are likely to target you again or sell your details to other criminals.
The follow-up scam may be completely separate or related to the previous fraud. For example, receiving an offer to help get your money back or to buy back the investment after you pay a fee.