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Cifas issues warning on helpdesk fraud after Netherlands clamps down on scammers

25 February 2020
  • Warning comes as Dutch authorities take action against fraudsters

Following on from reports that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets and Dutch telecom providers have revoked 100 numbers used in fake helpdesk fraud, Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is warning that people in the UK to be increasingly alert to this type of growing scam. 

Help desk scams usually occur when a victim is contacted by someone claiming to be from their bank, software provider, or a government department such as HMRC, and requesting remote access to their computer – often to ‘fix’ something with their bank account or their IT. Once they’ve accessed the computer, the fraudsters are then free to steal money and personal data from their victims accounts.

Amber Burridge, Head of Fraud Intelligence for Cifas, said: ‘The UK is already the European country most attacked by cyber-criminals, and I think the problem could potentially get worse if fraudsters are now struggling to target consumers in the Netherlands.   

‘Be wary if you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from your bank or software provider, and remember to never give them access to your computer – no matter how convincing they sound or how much pressure they put you under. Legitimate organisations will never call you unexpectedly and request personal information or banking details, and so if you do receive an unsolicited call asking for these or to access your computer, then my advice is to just hang up.’


For more information contact:

Corinne Gladstone
Head of Communications, Cifas 
T: +44 (0)20 3004 3654

Notes to editors

More information on the action take in the Netherlands is available here.

IoB: ‘Cybersecurity: UK most breached country in Europe’ -

About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2018, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.4 billion of fraud losses.

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud. Cifas also offers Protective Registration for individuals whose identities are at risk of being used fraudulently. We also run a scheme called Protecting the Vulnerable, offered free of charge to local authorities to protect those under the care of Court Deputies who are unable to access financial products and whose identities may be at risk.

Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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