This article is brought to you by Aura.
Watch the video to see how we protect you online.
This article is brought to you by Aura. Watch the video to see how we protect you online.
Start Free Trial
4.7 stars on Trustpilot
Close Button
What is Aura? (1:10)

Is AnyDesk Safe To Download? Avoid These 7 AnyDesk Scams

Did someone ask you to download AnyDesk? Slow down, as it could be a scam. Learn how AnyDesk scams work and how to keep yourself safe.

Illustration of two traffic yield signs in the same pattern as the AnyDesk logo to signify AnyDesk scams

Aura’s app keeps you safe from scams, fraud, and identity theft. Try Aura for free.

4.7 stars as of March 2024

In this article:

    In this article:

      See more

      Aura’s digital security app keeps your family safe from scams, fraud, and identity theft.

      See pricing
      Share this:

      Did Someone Ask You To Download AnyDesk to Your Computer or Phone?

      AnyDesk is legitimate software used by support agents at many companies — however, it’s also one of the main tools used by hackers in “remote access scams”. In these schemes, scammers pose as tech support agents and trick victims into downloading the software, which gives them full access to the victim’s computer and data.  

      According to 2022 data from the FBI [*]:

      Americans lost more than $800 million to tech support scams — many of which involved the use of remote access software like AnyDesk.

      If anyone asks you or a loved one to download AnyDesk, you need to be cautious.

      In this guide, we’ll explain how criminals use AnyDesk, common scams to watch out for, and how to keep yourself safe.

      {{show-toc}}

      What Is AnyDesk? Is It Safe?

      AnyDesk is a legitimate software tool that allows people to remotely view and control computers and mobile devices. For example, if an employee at a large company has a technical issue, someone on the IT team can use AnyDesk to “take over” the device and diagnose the problem.

      But this level of access and control is equally enticing to cybercriminals.

      If scammers convince you to download AnyDesk and share your unique access code, they can gain remote control of your Apple, Windows, or Android device. Once a scammer has remote access to your device, they can:

      • Search your device for sensitive files, photos and documents they can use for blackmail or to steal your identity
      • Steal your passwords and gain access to your bank, email, social media, and other online accounts
      • Spy on you as you use your device, sometimes even accessing your camera or microphone
      • Manipulate your screen to make it look like there are issues with your bank account — and then trick you into sending them money

      AnyDesk is not the only remote desktop application that scammers use. TeamViewer, RemotePC, and Zoho Assist are all similar platforms and should be treated with equal caution.

      🛡 Get award-winning digital security – for free. Aura’s award-winning solution provides 360° protection against hacking, identity theft, scams and fraud. Try Aura for free today.

      How Do AnyDesk Scams Work?

      AnyDesk scams are a type of technical support scam in which fraudsters convince targets to download AnyDesk — allowing scammers to remotely access their victims’ devices.

      For example, a Rhode Island woman received a fake online notification claiming that her iPad was compromised. But when she called the number for Apple support listed on the pop-up, she was told to download AnyDesk.

      With AnyDesk installed, fraudsters had full access to the victim’s computer — allowing them to steal sensitive information, manipulate everything the woman was seeing on her screen, and eventually convince her to wire them over $200,000 [*].

      This is just one example — but AnyDesk scams typically follow a similar pattern:

      • Scammers contact you claiming to be tech support representatives. Fraudsters send phishing emails, texts, or phone calls claiming to be from large, reputable tech companies like Microsoft — or even pose as representatives from your bank. In other cases, you may end up on a fake website that displays pop-ups warning that your device has been hacked.
      • Next, they claim that your device has been hacked or is infected with malware. This is a social engineering scare tactic designed to create a sense of urgency. The scammers may even claim that someone is using your identity to commit cybercrime.
      • To fix the problem, they persuade you to download AnyDesk. Scammers keep you on the phone while you download the application and then ask for your secret PIN number. This gives them access to your computer.
      • Once they have remote access, they steal sensitive information or use your device to trick you. For example, they might break into your other accounts, or make you think they refunded too much money to you.

      What makes AnyDesk scams especially dangerous is that fraudsters still have access to your device — even after scamming you.

      ⚡️ Get warned fast if scammers are using your personal information. If fraudsters steal your personal data, they can use it to take out loans in your name or empty your bank account. Try Aura for free and find out if your identity and finances are at risk!

      The 7 Latest AnyDesk Scams (and How To Avoid Them)

      1. Phishing messages from fake tech support agents
      2. Fraudulent offers for work-from-home jobs
      3. Bank fraud alerts claiming your account was compromised
      4. Fake warnings about cyberattacks on financial institutions
      5. Website pop-ups saying your device was infected with malware
      6. Online contacts claiming to “help” you trade Bitcoin or other investments
      7. Fake invoices or bills for services you didn’t request

      Fraudsters can use AnyDesk to scam you out of money or steal your sensitive information. Here are the latest AnyDesk scams to watch out for:

      1. Phishing messages from fake tech support agents

      Tech support scams often start with unsolicited contact from someone who claims to be a tech support agent at companies like Microsoft, Amazon, or other well-known technology brands. These scammers will claim your device has a problem and that they need you to download the AnyDesk app before they can fix it.

      Example of a smishing text claiming your device has been infected with a virus. Source: Aura team

      How to spot and avoid fake tech support scams:

      • Ignore anyone who tells you your device is infected. No one can tell you that your device has been infected unless they already have access to it (for example, if you’ve taken it to a certified technician).
      • Don’t trust phone numbers in Google search results. Hackers post fake tech support phone numbers online that show up in real search results. Always go to a company’s official website to find its contact information.
      • If you’re unsure, hang up and call or email through official channels. If you’re still concerned, ignore the outreach and contact the company directly. Ask to speak to their fraud department and explain what happened. They’ll be able to tell you if it was a legitimate notification or not.

      Pro tip: Aura’s all-in-one solution includes antivirus and other cybersecurity tools that protect you against malware, phishing, and other cyberthreats. Learn more about how Aura keeps you safe from hackers

      2. Fraudulent offers for work-from-home jobs

      In this scam, fraudsters post fake work-from-home jobs and request that candidates download the AnyDesk remote app as part of the hiring process. This scam is particularly alarming because AnyDesk has legitimate uses for work-from-home employees.

      How to spot and avoid work-from-home job scams:

      • Ask recruiters how they found you. If they mention a staffing agency that you don’t recognize, this is a red flag. If they found you on social media, consider how believable that is based on the information you’ve made public about your job search.
      • Find out as much as you can about your job duties. Work-from-home scams are generally vague about what the position requires. A legitimate recruiter should be able to describe the position in deep detail and tell you exactly what’s expected of you.

      💡 Related: How To Spot a Fake Job Scam (20 Early Warning Signs)

      3. Bank fraud alerts claiming your account was compromised

      Scammers will often use the threat of losing money to persuade you to do what they want. In this scam, fraudsters start by sending you an SMS or email claiming that your bank account has been compromised and to call a phone number for support. On the line, they’ll convince you to download AnyDesk so they can “protect” your funds.

      Fraudsters use the threat of an unfamiliar charge to get you to click on links and install AnyDesk. Source: Reddit
      Fraudsters use the threat of an unfamiliar charge to get you to click on links and install AnyDesk. Source: Reddit

      How to spot and avoid fake bank fraud alerts:

      • Always log in to your online bank account directly. Use your financial institution’s official mobile app or website to check if the fraud is real. If there’s a legitimate issue with your online banking account, it will show up here.
      • Report suspicious messages to your bank. All banks employ fraud specialists who constantly look for evidence of scams and fraudulent activity. Call or email your bank to report any suspicious activity related to your account. You can also forward suspicious text messages to them.

      💡 Related: How To Quickly Spot a Wells Fargo Scam Text

      4. Fake warnings about cyberattacks on well-known institutions

      Fraudsters may leverage major cyberattacks to carry out scams of their own. If a major bank or public institution suffers a data breach, scammers may perform tech support scams pretending that they’re contacting you on behalf of that organization in order to scare you into downloading AnyDesk or giving up more personal data.

      How to spot and avoid a data breach notification scam:

      • Know when your data is compromised. Pay attention when hackers attack large institutions, and prepare for scammers to attempt to trick you afterwards with remote access scams. Dark Web monitoring services can warn you in advance if your personal data was actually leaked.
      • Consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service. Aura’s award-winning identity theft protection solution warns users when their data is included in a data breach. This helps you tell the difference between a real data breach and fraudulent scare tactics.

      ⚠️ Get warned if your data is leaked. Aura can warn you if your personal data or passwords were compromised in a data breach. Learn more about how Aura keeps you safe

      5. Website pop-ups saying your device was infected with malware

      One variant of the tech support scam uses website pop-ups to warn users that their devices are infected.

      Example of a fake virus pop-up
      Hackers use pop-ups to claim your device has been hacked. Source: MalwareTips

      You can safely ignore these pop-ups as there is no way for a browser to scan your device for malware on its own.

      How to spot and avoid a fake pop-up scam:

      • Carefully examine pop-up warnings. Some pop-ups are designed to look like regular system alerts. Don’t be fooled — if the pop-up comes from your web browser, it’s not a real system alert.
      • Close your web browser. This is the easiest way to check if a pop-up warning comes through your web browser or through the operating system. If closing the web browser makes the pop-up go away, it was not a real system alert.
      🛡 Block dangerous websites and pop-ups. Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution includes Safe Browsing tools that block fake websites and protect you against hackers. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      6. Online contacts claiming to “help” you trade Bitcoin or other investments

      Many scams revolve around the profits you can earn by trading various cryptocurrencies online. But no legitimate brokerage or investment app will offer to assist users in trading and investing with remote desktop software like AnyDesk. Even unregulated offshore cryptocurrency exchanges avoid doing this because their finance-savvy users would know it’s a scam.

      How to spot and avoid fake investment scams:

      • Never accept direct help to open any kind of online account. Online brokerages invest heavily in education, but they never actually perform transactions on customers’ behalf using remote desktop software.
      • Understand how security regulations protect you. Only registered investment advisors can legally recommend that you purchase assets for investment purposes, and only under contract. U.S. law prohibits people from investing other peoples’ money without this kind of registration [*].

      💡 Related: What Is the Pig Butchering (Crypto Investment) Scam?

      7. Fake invoices or bills for services you didn’t request

      Scammers send fake invoices and bills from service providers you never signed up for to get you to call them. But when you try to cancel the payment or auto-renewal, scammers will ask you to download AnyDesk software and log in to your bank account to confirm the refund.

      How to spot and avoid a fake invoice scam:

      • Verify suspicious invoices and bills. Find out if you actually received the service you’re being charged for. If the bill “auto-renews,” you should be able to find a previous payment in your transaction history. If none exists, it’s almost certainly a scam.
      • Hang up and call the company back. Companies generally do not call customers asking them if they want to cancel their services. If the call is legitimate, you should be able to hang up, find the company’s contact number on its official website, and call back.

      💡 Related: Don’t Fall For These 7 Nasty Refund & Recovery Scams

      Do You Think Scammers Have Remote Access To Your Device? Do This!

      • Disconnect your device from the Internet. Disconnecting your device from the internet is the fastest way to prevent scammers from accessing it. Turn off Wi-Fi and remove any active SIM cards to ensure the device can’t go online.
      • Update your passwords using a new device. The first thing scammers do is look for passwords and authentication credentials. Use a separate device to log in to your password-protected accounts and change your passwords. For added security, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible.
      • Remove AnyDesk from the compromised device. Uninstall AnyDesk the same way you’d uninstall any application. You should also scan your device for malware and other suspicious apps.
      • Freeze your credit with all three bureaus. Scammers often use stolen data to open new accounts or take out loans in your name. To stop them, freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
      • Contact your bank’s fraud department. Hackers may use your device to access your bank and credit card accounts. Contact your financial institutions and ask that they cancel your cards and accounts and then issue you new ones.
      • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC operates a website specifically for reporting fraud and abuse. Go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov and follow the instructions. If you think or know that scammers have your personal information, you should also file an official identity theft report with the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov.
      • Consider signing up for identity theft protection. If scammers have access to your sensitive data, they could strike at any time. Aura monitors your most sensitive personal and financial information and alerts you in near-real time of any suspicious activity. Plus, if the worst should happen, you’ll have access to Aura’s team of 24/7 U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists and $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage for every adult member on your plan.
      🏆 Shut down scammers with award-winning protection. Aura’s all-in-one digital security solution has been rated #1 by Money.com, Forbes, USA Today, Security.org, and more. Try Aura free for 14 days and safeguard yourself and your family against scammers.

      The Bottom Line: Don’t Give Scammers Access to Your Computer

      Remote access scams are incredibly dangerous because they give hackers direct access to your devices and data. To avoid remote access scams, make sure you:

      • Never download software recommended by anyone who contacts you — especially apps like AnyDesk — and only perform downloads if you’re 100% sure they’re legitimate.
      • Always verify tech support personnel, bank employees, and work-from-home recruiters by using an independent contact method.
      • Don’t automatically believe warning messages that claim your device has a virus. Only trust what your own antivirus application says.

      Keeping your information safe from scammers can be a full-time job. Make it easier with Aura’s award-winning identity theft protection services.

      With Aura, you get powerful internet security tools, three-bureau credit monitoring, the industry’s fastest fraud alerts, and a $1 million insurance policy for eligible losses due to identity theft.

      Stay safe from scammers and online threats. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you to increase awareness about digital safety. Aura’s services may not provide the exact features we write about, nor may cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat discussed in our articles. Please review our Terms during enrollment or setup for more information. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime.

      Is this article helpful so far?
      Yes
      No
      Skip
      Need an action plan?

      No items found.

      Award-winning identity theft protection with AI-powered digital security tools, 24/7 White Glove support, and more. Try Aura for free.

      Related Articles

      Illustration showing a warning symbol coming out of the top of a smartphone
      Internet Security

      How To Know if Your Phone Is Hacked (and What To Do)

      Scammers know your phone is a goldmine of sensitive accounts and personal information. Here’s how to know if your phone is hacked and what to do about it.

      Read More
      February 16, 2024
      An illustration of an open laptop displaying a keyhole
      Internet Security

      What Is Digital Security? Steps to Stay Safe Online (NEW)

      The pandemic introduced us to remote socialization, school, work, and even healthcare. But have you truly mastered the art of digital security?

      Read More
      June 6, 2023

      Try Aura—14 Days Free

      Start your free trial today**