The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning people to be aware of people posing as investment advisers and offering to assist them in establishing new schemes through online meeting platforms.
They request that their victim share the screen and enable remote access, which gives them control of their device and, potentially, their bank account.
Since July 2020, approximately 2,100 cases have been reported to the FCA.
In the 15 months beginning in January 2021, more than £25 million was stolen.
The FCA reported that the number of screen-sharing scams it had seen had increased by 86% to 683 in the six months from July to December 2021, compared to 367 in the same period the previous year.
Remote access software is a legitimate tool for services such as IT support to troubleshoot problems without physically being present.
However, scammers are increasingly exploiting this familiarity to trick victims into granting access to more than just a screenshot of their screen.
They are then persuaded to hand over control of their computer to the fraudsters by either expanding permissions or downloading remote access software, granting them direct access to online bank accounts. It also implies that they can install their own malware, granting them complete access at any time.