My Close Encounter with Cyber Crime

15 Feb 2017

My Close Encounter with Cyber Crime

Hi everyone, it’s Matt here again with another blog post. This time I will tell you the tale of how I almost fell victim to cybercrime and how cyber security awareness training helped me spot the scam before it was too late.

What Happened?

It all began not long after my wife and I moved to Bristol. With the usual stress that comes with moving from a different part of the country to a new city the issue of cyber security, I have to admit, was far from the front of my mind.

I’d just started working at PGI and was still settling into my new job when I finally got around to getting Wi-Fi at home. The property that we’d moved into was suffering from a wealth of issues, including a leaky kitchen ceiling complete with water that leaked out of the electrical sockets. Thoughts that I’d made a mistake and the usual fears that we all think when we make such a big move and when things don’t seem to be going according to plan went through my mind.

On top of all of the structural issues I had to deal with, I was also having trouble with my internet at home. My broadband provider (I won’t mention them by name, but let’s just say they have been the victim of a few well publicised cyber-attack) claimed to be having some difficulties with our line.

After several calls to their customer service department without making much in the way of progress in getting our issues sorted, we went back to the other numerous issues that life throws your way. The next day however, was when we had our encounter with a scammer.

The phone rang and naturally I answered. The voice on the other end of the line had a thick Indian accent and claimed to be from our internet service provider. Nothing out of the ordinary there I thought, after all, the people I’d be dealing with prior to that had also been based overseas. The man was very polite and seemed to know pretty much everything that was wrong. He knew that we’d been experiencing problems with our line. He also knew that we had an account with the company he claimed to work for, our names and our contact details. The conversation went on as you would expect until the man asked me to go to my home computer and go online.

Cyber Awareness Training Does Work!

A few weeks previously I had attended PGI’s cyber security awareness course (all new employees go on this course to ensure that they know how to spot anything suspicious online.) Thanks to this training I became suspicious of the man claiming to be trying to assist with our internet problem.

At first I did as requested, but as soon as he told me to go and download a piece of software that would enable him to remotely gain access to my computer the alarm bells were ringing. The cyber awareness course covered the methods hackers use in order to gain access to their targets machines and networks and ding, ding, ding, gaining remote access was certainly one of those.

I immediately terminated the call and just to make certain unplugged my Wi-Fi router. It was shortly after this that my suspicions were confirmed. The phone rang, I answered. The man who I’d be speaking to previously was on the line but this time his polite demeanour had vanished. Instead he was laughing sinisterly down the line. I hung up again, but we were then called a few more times and each time the man hurled insults, and during one of the calls we could clearly hear more than one person, as though they were sat in a call centre.

Fortunately the calls stopped, the scammers having given up on snagging their prize. Just to make sure I called the PGI Incident Response number and explained what had happened. Sheldon, one of resident cyber experts put my mind at ease and explained that I’d done the right thing.

Following on from this close call I did some research and discovered that this type of scam is happening all the time. It’s easy to understand how someone can fall for it, especially the elderly and vulnerable. The scammers rely on the trust customers have of their service provider and exploit it.

With businesses being breached on what appears to be a regular basis and the details of their customers being put up for sale online, customers are easy prey for scammers and criminals that buy them via the Dark Web. If not for the training I received shortly after joining PGI, I too, might have fallen victim and I dread to think what sort of damage could have been done.


PGI’s Digital Security Packages offer a wide range of services specifically designed to help protect your business from the cyber threat. You can download PGI’s Digital Services Package brochure here

PGI is pleased to offer a range of E-Learning Cyber Security Training courses within our curricula. E-Learning can be a particularly useful and effective learning platform for those wanting to study at their own pace - in the office, at home or remotely.

For the latest PGI updates like our pages on LinkedIn – PGI,  PGI Cyber , Facebook – PGI,  PGI Cyber  and  Twitter

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