CHARLOTTE – Action 9’s Jason Stoogenke was investigating three scams recently when he noticed they had something in common. It was something he had never encountered before. All three victims or potential victims said that the scammer wanted them to download a certain software, called AnyDesk.
AnyDesk is legitimate software that allows someone to take control of your computer if you need help with a technology problem.
Scammers know this.
In July, a Channel 9 viewer emailed Stoogenke about a scammer claiming to be selling a truck engine. The viewer said the person wanted her to download AnyDesk.
A few weeks later, Karla Timpani told Stoogenke about a scam she had fallen into, the gift card scam. “And then he started telling me to do all these steps on my computer, and one of them was to go to AnyDesk,” she said. “And I didn’t know that was going to give him remote access to my computer, but it does.”
Timpani said the person was able to access his bank account, which led to a larger scheme that ultimately cost him $23,000.
A few weeks later, Jamie Sparks contacted Stoogenke about a scam involving an online return. The scammer asked him to download AnyDesk.
“The app said ‘remote control.’ It stuck with me because I thought something was wrong,” she said.
Fortunately, she didn’t fall into the trap and she hung up on her.
“He could have done a lot of stupid things,” she added.
AnyDesk is aware of the problem. He even has a warning for people using his product.
The company emailed Stoogenke:
“To abuse our platform and other remote platforms in this way is unethical and unacceptable. Millions of professionals around the world depend on AnyDesk to securely connect to work computers and troubleshoot We are committed to doing everything in our power to help stop these scams.
“The danger of misuse is why we encourage and warn users after downloading AnyDesk to never share information with anyone they don’t know or trust. Each user has access to AnyDesk’s resources to prevent fraud attempts as well as a real-time reporting system managed by a support team. Users must authorize all connection requests before granting access to their device. All sessions use military-grade encryption among other security measures.
AnyDesk advises its users to follow three basic rules:
1. Never give someone you don’t know access to your devices.
2. Never share online banking login information or passwords with anyone.
3. Be careful if you are contacted out of the blue by a big tech company’s help desk offering help with technical issues.
“We will continue to do our utmost to combat the misuse of remote desktop software on our own platform and across the industry.”
Stoogenke said that even if a scammer asks you to download AnyDesk and you do, that person still needs your permission (some code) to use it. Whatever you do, don’t share it.
If you download the app and allow the scammer to access your device:
- Report the scam to your account providers (your bank, online payment systems, etc.)
- Change the passwords of accounts that may have been compromised.
- Ask an IT specialist to check your device.
- Report the scam to local authorities.
If you have been scammed yourself or know of a scammer who is misusing AnyDesk software, you can report the problem here.
You can find more information on AnyDesk abuse prevention here.
(Watch below: Indian Trail woman says she was scammed out of $23,000)
©2022 Cox Media Group