Bogus calls designed to convince you to hand over your credit card or bank account details are a real problem and a new telephone scam has arrived incorporating scammers posing as representatives of phone service provider BT.
Before now, scamming was aimed at gaining credit card information which subsequently leads to credit card fraud – callers usually state they are calling from the card’s fraud department, and do not actually ask for your card number as they already have it – they proceed to provide information to make you believe they are from your credit card company, gaining your trust before getting you to pass over the 3 digit security number on the back of the card – if handed over their scam is complete.
The latest warning comes as scammers are posing as UK telecommunications company BT staff – who are tricking people into revealing their bank or credit card details, and the circulating email explains exactly how this is taking place;
A call is received from a BT ‘representative’ – who informs you that he is going to dis-connect the phone line because of an unpaid bill. The ‘representative’ demands a payment of £31.00 (for example) or it is going to cost you £118.00 to be re-connected at a later date.
* For those people who are not even on the British Telecommunications network – this is not a problem for the caller *
If for example you advise the caller that you are with Virgin Media, he will simply say that Virgin Media have to pay BT a percentage for the line rental.
When you ask for the callers name, you are more than likely to be given an ‘English’ name for someone who appears to have an ‘African’ sounding accent. At this point you will also be informed of a telephone number you can call him back on – 0800 0800 152
When the caller acknowledges that you do not believe the story, he offers to prove that he is from BT – At this point he requests that you hang up the phone and try calling someone – which is where he claims you will not be able to make a call, because he can prevent you from doing so…
You hang up, dial a number and your phone is dead!!! No engaged tone – Nothing.
The ‘representative’ calls you straight back claiming that this was his demonstration to prove he is who he says he is!
So you will probably now ask how payment can be made – and this is answered with by a credit card, there and then –and if you go ahead and give the caller your details – the scam will have been successful.
For those still not convinced – you hang up and if you dial 1471 (to find out the last calling number) the number is not recognised and the 0800 number will not be recognised.
The police are aware of the scam and confirm that although this is still fairly new, it is escalating rapidly.
So, how does the BT phone scam work? According to certified fraud examiners, the scam is good but not particularly clever; Firstly the caller informs you of the incorrect call-back number – this should be 0800 800 152 which takes you through to BT Business.
Secondly, the cutting off of the phone line is very simple; the caller stays on the line after requesting you hang up and try to call someone – by activating the mute button at his end which prevents you from being able to dial out – he can however hear you trying because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate a call – so, when you stop trying he does terminate the call – but calls you back immediately.
Very convincing – but as this is a very simple scam to carry out it is certainly possible to fool the elderly or more vulnerable people amongst us.
Therefore be warned and warn as many people of this scam as possible – it is not about getting cash out of you – it is all about getting your credit card details along with the security number so that the scammer can use the details for large purchases!
Internal email bulletin Utility Exchange (Director)
Lancashire Constabulary, Card Scam pdf