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Over £2 million lost to criminals impersonating well-known broadband providers

New alert from Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) about computer software service fraud.


2,007 reports of computer software service fraud were made to Action Fraud last month. Victims reported losing a total of £2,148,976. This is a 22% increase in reporting compared to the previous month.

Action Fraud has received reports of criminals cold calling victims purporting to be calling from well-known broadband providers primarily, claiming that the victim has a problem with their computer, router or internet. The suspect persuades the victim to download and connect via a Remote Access Tool (RAT), allowing the suspect to gain access to the victim’s computer or mobile phone. Some reports also state that criminals have been using browser pop up windows to initiate contact with victims.

Victims are then persuaded to log into their online banking to receive a refund from the broadband provider as a form of compensation. This allows the suspect access to the victim’s bank account, and the ability to move funds out of the victims account into a UK mule account.

There has also been an increase in the variety of service providers being impersonated, with multiple providers being affected.

Always remember:

  • Genuine organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for personal or financial details, such as your PIN or full banking password.
  • Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, because of a cold call.
  • Don’t contact companies promoting tech support services via browser pop-ups.
  • Hang up on any callers that claim they can get your money back for you.
  • If you have made a payment, contact your bank immediately. They can help you prevent any further losses.
  • If you granted remote access to your computer, seek technical support to remove any unwanted software. If you need tech advice, look for reviews online first or ask friends for recommendations.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.