Technical support scams

People in Finland occasionally find themselves receiving a lot of phone calls, when scammers posing as IT support are active. How do you recognise a scam call, though?

Many people in Finland may have received even tens of similar scam calls and can easily recognise scammers the second they hear the first crackle on the other end of the line. Scammers have not reached everyone yet, though, and from their point of view, scamming attempts are worthwhile as long as even one person could still fall for them.

It is therefore a good idea to discuss technical support scam calls with ageing relatives and friends in particular: unexpected and unsolicited offers of technical support made over the phone should not be accepted.

Calls can come from Finnish and international phone numbers

Technical support calls have come from both Finnish and international phone numbers. Therefore, a Finnish phone number does not guarantee that the caller is can be trusted.

A technical support scammer will typically speak English and will often claim to be calling on behalf of Microsoft or another well-known company’s technical support. Scammers can be quite inventive, however, so you should be prepared for calls made in other languages or with different excuses.

Scammers ask to install software on computers

When a scammer calls and offers to provide technical support, their goal is to gain access to the computer of the person who unwittingly answered the call.

A scammer will typically claim that a data security issue has been detected on the victim’s computer, and that to resolve the problem, some computer program needs to be installed on the device. In reality, the scammer is using these applications to access the victim’s device. The scammer will then use that access to obtain the victim’s online banking identifiers or payment card details.

Scammers can also be more direct and use some excuse to get the person who answered their call to provide their username, online banking identifiers or payment card details. Scammers will occasionally also ask for a picture of an ID document. Scammers use the information that they have obtained to transfer funds from their victim’s account or cards to themselves.  

Well-known companies never offer technical support unless the customer has requested it first

If you are ever contacted by someone offering technical support when you yourself have not reported an issue and requested support, you have most likely being scammed. Reliable companies do not call users unless the user themselves has created a support request and asked technical support to contact them.

You should not install any programs on devices that you own or use except for programs that you know you need. Do not install anything on your devices at someone else’s request.

You should also remember that your online banking identifiers should not be shared with anyone else. Keeping your passwords to yourself is also advisable.  

What to do if you suspect your computer has been targeted?

If you or a loved one received a suspicious phone call from technical support and you have followed the caller’s instructions to instal an application on your device, here’s what to do:

  • Deactivate your online banking identifiers and payment cards by calling our Customer Service at  0100 0500. 
  • If Customer Service is unavailable, please contact OP’s Deactivation Service on 0100 0555 (24/7). Be sure to also call our Customer Service during service hours to report the incident. 
  • When calling, please mention that a technical support scam call was made and, as a result, you installed new software or applications on your device. 
  • Check if there are any charges on your account or payment card that you don’t recognise. Report any such charges to our Customer Service. 
  • Delete any applications installed during the scam either by yourself or with the help of a professional.
  • Do not use your new online banking identifiers on the same device until any programs installed by scammers have definitely been removed.

Keep in mind that anyone can fall victim to a scam. You should contact your bank as soon as possible. Instead of worrying by yourself, let us help you prevent further damage.

Read more about scam calls made in Microsoft’s name on the National Cyber Security Centre website.