Scammers and Hackers targeting staff adapting to new ways of working

Over the past two months, there has been a significant increase in the number of NICS staff working from home, using unfamiliar equipment and adapting to remote IT support provision. The threat posed by scammers and hackers is not new but it is apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic presents, what they consider, an opportunity to target those adjusting to new ways of working.

Unsolicited phone calls from ‘IT Support’ offering to fix problems with your computer, emails or logon details are common and everyone must remain vigilant to these threats. 

Everyone is reminded that:

In most cases, ITAssist will not contact you without YOU first logging a support call with the helpdesk. If you are unexpectedly contacted by someone claiming to be from ITAssist and are in ANY doubt at all, then ask for the caller’s name and section, terminate the call, phone the official helpdesk number on ext. 155 (or 0300 1234155 externally) and asked to be put through to the caller.

If possible, do this on a mobile phone as scammers can sometimes keep a landline call open even if you hang up.

Note that ITAssist will NEVER ask you for personal details, particularly relating to passwords, home address or banking details.

If in ANY doubt, always ring the helpdesk and ask for advice.

For further guidance on staying safe online, including assistance in identifying suspicious emails, visit the NICS Cyber Security Hub.

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