AnyDesk is a widely used and trusted program that lets people work from different locations by giving them remote computer access. All they need is an internet connection, and they can get to their files and tools anytime, anywhere.
This is a big help, especially when working from home, using AnyDesk to connect to our or clients’ work computers and networks.
However, there’s a downside. Because AnyDesk is so popular, some cyber criminals use it to trick people and get into their computers without permission. This is known as the AnyDesk scam. Let’s discuss how these sneaky tricks work and how you can keep yourself safe.
Table of Contents:
- What is AnyDesk? Is it safe?
- Can you get scammed through AnyDesk remote access?
- How does an AnyDesk scam work?
- What can scammers do with remote access to your device?
- What to do if you have given remote access to a scammer?
- How to avoid an AnyDesk scam?
- Final Thoughts
What is AnyDesk? Is it safe?
AnyDesk is a simple and handy software that lets you remotely view and control computers and mobile gadgets. Think of it like this: If a worker at a big company runs into a tech problem, the IT department can use AnyDesk to “step in” to the device and figure out what’s wrong.
But here’s the catch. The same “remote control” feature that makes AnyDesk useful can also attract cyber crooks. If these scammers trick you into downloading AnyDesk and sharing your access code, they can remotely control your gadget.
Once they get access, they can hunt for private information to steal your identity or play tricks on your screen when checking your bank account.
Can you get scammed through AnyDesk remote access?
Technically, no. The AnyDesk app is secure—it uses strong, military-level encryption for access. This means your data is coded, and your device is safe from intruders. No one else can decode your information.
So how can scammers reach you? They pretend to be AnyDesk. By “masquerading” as the software, they aim to remotely control your computer or phone. If they get into your device, they can dig out all sorts of personal information like your bank account details and passwords.
How does an AnyDesk scam work?
These scams trick users into letting others access their devices, office networks, or other systems. The following are some common cases of an AnyDesk scam.
Case 1: Unveiling the fraudulent AnyDesk program scam
In this scam, a fraudster pretends to be a customer service rep from your bank. They scare or stress you out by saying there’s a big problem with your account and it’s been frozen. Pretending to help, they trick you into downloading the AnyDesk app.
After you install AnyDesk, it makes a PIN that you’re told to share. Once you do this, the scammer gets full control of your device. They can then steal important information like your login credentials. This is a total misuse of what AnyDesk is meant to do.
To avoid this type of scam, never download apps or share sensitive information at the behest of unsolicited callers claiming to be from your bank or other institutions. Always independently verify such claims by contacting them directly through their official contact channels.
Case 2: The Amazon AnyDesk deception
The trickster acts as if they work for Amazon. They warn you by saying your Amazon account has been hacked, and you could lose a lot of money if you don’t fix it immediately.
They then persuade you to download AnyDesk and let them into your device, pretending they need to solve the problem. But watch out—this is a significant warning sign! Amazon workers would never need to access your device remotely; they have their own systems to deal with these issues.
Once the scammer takes control of your device, they can put harmful software on it and steal your account information. So never allow such callers or tricksters to get access to your account and report the number immediately.
Case 3: The AnyDesk tech support scam
In this situation, you get an unexpected call from someone pretending to be from a tech support team from AnyDesk help center, or often saying they’re from a well-known company like Microsoft. They warn you about a serious problem with your device that must be fixed instantly.
Or they might email you or text saying your account has been locked because of weird activity. They tell you to click on a link in the message to log into your account, and the link seems real. Sometimes this is the link to download the AnyDesk tool, and they ask you to share your secret codes.
But be careful! Always be cautious of unsolicited communications from ‘tech support‘ or ‘big companies‘ instructing you to download apps or click on links. For any suspicious activity, independently verify it by contacting the organization directly through their official contact details, and never share secret codes or other sensitive data with anyone.
Case 4: The AnyDesk job offer scam
This scam is all about fake job offers. The scammer pretends to be a possible boss or an employer, and they ask you to download AnyDesk for an online job interview or to get your work setup ready.
As soon as you install the app and share the access code, the scammer gets control of your device. This lets them put harmful software on your device or find your personal and money details.
Always double-check the identity of the person requesting access to your device. Never share your AnyDesk code or similar codes for other remote desktop apps with anyone you don’t trust. Be careful about random calls, messages, or emails, even if they look like they’re from a company you know.
Case 5: Fake alerts on cyberattacks
This type of scam uses the fear of cyberattacks against big organizations. The scammers send emails or messages about a recent cyberattack on a well-known group (like your bank or a government office). They trick you into thinking your account or data is in danger.
Then, they suggest downloading AnyDesk or a similar app to fix the problem. As soon as you install the app and share the access code, the scammer gets control of your device. This lets them find your sensitive information and data.
Watch out for any unexpected emails or messages about cyberattacks. Check the information with a source you can trust, like the official website or the organization’s customer service number they’re talking about.
Case 6: Website pop-ups claiming your device is infected
Sometimes, scammers scare you into acting fast before you can think about your actions. One way they do this is by using pop-ups on websites that warn you your device has bad software.
These pop-ups usually have a message telling you to download AnyDesk or another remote desktop app to “fix” the problem. When you share your access code, the scammer can mess with your device and steal your important information.
Be careful about any pop-ups that say your device is infected. These warnings rarely come from places you can trust. Instead of clicking on the pop-up, close your web browser and run an antivirus scan.
If you think your device might be infected, talk to a professional tech person or use trusted antivirus software.
What can scammers do with remote access to your device?
Scammers who obtain access to your device remotely can do a wide variety of damage, including:
1. Data mining
Cybercriminals can search your device for important papers, photos, or files. They might be looking for anything from credit card bills to utility statements, which gives them personal or financial details they can use badly.
2. Gaining access to online accounts
If you’ve saved your passwords on your device and let hackers in, you’re giving them the keys to your online accounts. This means they can use your passwords however they want.
3. Spying and keylogging
Scammers can watch you as you type in your passwords online, even if you haven’t saved your passwords. They might do keystroke logging, recording every key you press. This lets them get all of your passwords.
4. Installing malicious software
When the intruders get remote access, they can download harmful software onto your device. This means they don’t have to trick you into doing it.
5. Extortion and blackmail
If the scammers find private information on your device, they can use it to threaten you. They might say they’ll put this information online unless you give them money.
6. Impersonation and further scams
When the hackers enter your contacts, they can figure out who you’re close to, like your friends and family. They might immediately pretend to be you and trick these people into sending them money.
That’s why it’s important to consider who you’re letting into your device. You should also ensure your device is well-protected against these threats.
What to do if you have given remote access to a scammer?
If you’ve accidentally downloaded AnyDesk or let scammers get remote access to your device, do these things right away:
- Turn off your device: The fastest way to stop scammers is to turn off your device. Turn off your Wi-Fi and take out any SIM cards (in the case of mobile phones) to ensure your device isn’t online.
- Change your passwords: Scammers usually review your passwords and login info first. Using a different device, quickly log into your accounts and change your passwords.
- Uninstall AnyDesk and perform a malware scan: Get rid of AnyDesk or any similar app on your device. Also, run a full harmful software, and antivirus check to find and eliminate any weird programs.
- Start a credit freeze: To stop scammers from making new accounts or getting loans in your name with the info they stole, it’s very important to freeze your credit.
- Report the scam to the FTC: Go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website to report fraud and abuse. For this, visit reportfraud.ftc.gov, and follow the steps they give you. If you think the scammers have your personal info, also make an identity theft report at identitytheft.gov.
How to avoid an AnyDesk scam?
Here are some common tips for protecting your personal info, banking details, and money from any scam:
- Don’t let anyone you don’t know get into your device. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from IT or a software company, don’t fall for it. Hang up and call the company directly using a number you’ve looked up yourself.
- Never share your device passwords with anyone, even someone you work with and trust.
- Change your passwords often on your device and on all your accounts, like your credit card company and bank.
- Look closely at website addresses before you click on them. The website address might look familiar, but there could be a small difference, like a spelling mistake.
- Be wary of calls, text messages, or emails that try to connect with you and warn you about a problem with your computer or Internet.
- Ensure you keep your antivirus software up to date to keep all your devices safe.
- When you realize you’re the victim of a scam and someone has gotten into your data, report it.
While AnyDesk is a legitimate and useful tool for remote access, its misuse by scammers is a growing concern. To protect yourself, remain vigilant and avoid sharing your device’s remote access code with unknown individuals.
Frequently update your passwords and employ antivirus software. If you suspect you’re a scam victim, disconnect your device, change passwords, and report to the necessary authorities promptly. Remember, no reputable organization will request remote access to your device unexpectedly.
Always verify before you trust. Staying informed and exercising caution are the best ways to guard against these scams. Make sure you’re up to date on the latest developments, such as the Trust Wallet scams.