Norwich IT specialist warns of identity theft video fraud

Published:
06:00 10 April 2022



A Norwich IT specialist is warning of a clever new type of fraud where criminals impersonate work bosses to steal company bank accounts.

Andy Atthowe of S2 Computers explained how scammers assume identities over a video call by claiming that their audio and video aren’t working properly so all you see are their initials or profile pictures.

Using chat features on calls through platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, opportunists can instruct employees to undertake certain tasks – like moving money – for their own gain by impersonating someone in a position to authority.

“The reality is that this is a growing risk,” he said, explaining that now video calls being the norm in the wake of the pandemic have lulled people into a false sense of security.


Andy Atthowe, Director and Founder of S2 Computers
– Credit: S2 Computers

“Moving conversations to a video platform is very smart. Psychologically, most people would believe it was their boss who was on the phone. And audio-visual issues can be common on calls.

“That’s why these things work. If there’s an element of trust involved, you naturally don’t question things that you would naturally have done otherwise.

“Many cyber incidents are happening these days. It is an ever-evolving and changing world that we live in.

“Covid has naturally accelerated these types of crimes because we all rely on technology even more than before, and that comes with additional or new risks that people may not be as aware of.

“It’s not exactly a widespread thing, but it does happen.”

S2 Computers, which has been dealing primarily with businesses based in Norfolk and Suffolk for 20 years, has noticed a trend that crimes of this scale typically occur in major business centers across the country before escalating. spread in towns and small towns like Norwich.

Mr Atthowe added: “A big city like London or Manchester sometimes sees these types of crimes happen first, but that usually means the rest of the UK will eventually see it.

“Tackling this crime is difficult, simply because of its scale. Much of it comes down to a lack of education and understanding on the corporate side, and a lack of resources on the law enforcement side. order.”

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