Estonia's RIA warns of calls made by English-speaking scammers

  • 2020-03-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The CERT-EE unit responsible for the management of security incidents at the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has received reports of English-speaking callers inquiring about the security of people's computers and seeking to gain access to them.

The call is made from a foreign telephone number and the caller introduces themselves as a representative of a very trustworthy and internationally known company. The caller will then ask questions about the computer of the person answering the call under the pretext that, in the current situation where many people are working from home, it is very important that computers are safe and secure. After receiving answers to their questions, the caller will seek access to the person's computer to double check whether it is secure enough. Should the person answering the call refuse, the caller will not be deterred, but will instead carry on with the request and not end the call.

"When it comes to calls like this, we suggest that people immediately end the call and add the caller to a blacklist. Under no circumstances should anyone give a stranger unauthorized access to their computer," Tonu Tammer, head of the CERT-EE unit responsible for the management of security incidents at RIA, said.

"The objective of the scam calls is not clear yet. For example, the scammer may attempt to sell scareware products, which seemingly find malware from your computer, and if you pay a certain sum, you will be rid of this malware. It is also possible that the scammer's aim is to steal your account or credit card information," Tammer added.

"If you received such a call, did not end it, and gave the scammer access to your computer, you should immediately contact a qualified IT professional and notify CERT-EE of the incident as well. Immediately change the passwords that may have been leaked during the attack. If you suspect that the scammer made payments through your bank account, contact your bank. Also, disconnect your computer from the internet and have the antivirus program scan your computer thoroughly," RIA said.