Scareware cold-callers target 1 in 4
Bogus software scam riles UK.gov
A quarter of internet users have received a cold call from cyber criminals falsely claiming their computer is infected with a virus, the government said today.
The con is designed to obtain banking credentials and control of the target machine. Victims are told they need to download software that will remove the infection, but in fact it monitors their activity and reports personal data back to the criminals.
Despite press reports on the scam going back more than a year, the security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said today that 80 per cent of internet users are unaware.
The government is highlighting the problem to launch Get Safe Online week, its attempt to educate the public about basic digital hygiene.
"While it's encouraging to see that UK web users are today more security-aware, criminals are often one step ahead and will use increasingly sophisticated methods to take advantage where they can," said Neville-Jones.
"However, equipped with the right information, there's no need for anyone to be deterred from going online or from protecting their computers with the right security software."
The campaign was launched under Labour in 2005, and is now being promoted as part of the Cyber Security Strategy, which received a £650m boost in the recent review of security spending. The website with more information is here. ®
Get your facts right.
1. It only applies to UK business, they have no juristriction to your run of the mill Indian call centre.
2. If you have business with them it no longer applies. i.e If you have boiler that was fitted by British gas, then can call you (unless you schoose to opt out).
3. It does not stop market research, they are exempt (as are some others).
FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY.
If they are trying to scam you for cash, do you honestly thing they give a flying fuck about the TPS?
It's hardly aimed you, you plank. It's aimed at folk who are not IT pro's, so get off your milk and drink your horse.
1 in 4?
I don't believe the 1 in 4 statistic.
Let's say only half the UK are 'web users'. That's about 30 million, 1 in 4 of which have allegedly been cold called in an anti-virus scam.
In other words, they reckon 7.5 million people have answered the phone and it was a call about a fake AV. Even using autodiallers and professional outbound call centres, that's still going to require a lot of manpower and outlay.
While I'm sure the scam exists in many forms, I call shenanigans on the stats.