Please spread the word
Over the last few weeks, several of my customers have called me after receiving calls from people claiming to be from BT. In some instances, the caller informed them that unless they took immediate action to pay up, their broadband would be disconnected in 48 hours. The call handler then got them to provide their full bank details in order to make the payment. One of the victims subsequently discovered that over £3,000 was taken out of her bank account (very luckily her bank did get her money back).
Other victims were told that BT had detected slow broadband speeds in their area and that in order to fix the problem, they were asked to log into their computer and download ‘specialist software’ to help improve the speed. This software, however, was in fact malware or keylogging software that recorded every single keystroke they made, thus enabling the hackers to access their login details, passwords and sensitive financial information.
In order to make the calls look more genuine the displayed telephone number appeared to be local, however this is a tactic known as ‘number spoofing’. Using sophisticated technology, fraudsters can alter the phone number from which they are calling so that it matches the official telephone number of the victim’s telecoms provider or bank.
BT states on its website that “Fraudsters are known to make calls claiming to work for BT, when it’s actually a scam. They may ask you for personal information, want access to your computer and in some cases, ask for your bank details. Don’t be fooled, this is fraud”. BT will never call you out of the blue and tell you that your service has been hacked, try to remotely take control of your device, tell you they’ve found a problem with your computer or ask you for an urgent payment and threaten to disconnect your service. For full details, we strongly advise that you check out their website: www.bt.com/help/home/scams.
If you have been the victim of one of these scams, one of the best things you can do is spread the word. However embarrassed you might feel about it (and please don’t be embarrassed, these fraudsters use incredibly convincing tactics), warning everyone you know about it will really help in the long term. You should also report the fraud to Action Fraud and to BT itself, both of whom take these cases very seriously.