Fraudsters have used BT as a disguise for a while to scam unsuspecting victims, but their latest approach is even more convincing and scary. The fraudster will call the victim about an outstanding payment on their account. Then, the they will request that an immediate payment be made to clear the outstanding balance or face the phone line being “disconnected”.
If you hang up and try to make a call, the fraudster will keep the phone line open – once you have stopped trying they will call back again. The new added layer to this scam is that they pass you on to another department to make the payment, this extra level of bureaucracy adds to the authenticity. Upon receiving payment, the fraudster not only has your money, but your card details as well. According to Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), approximately £23.9 million of losses occurred due to phone vishing – a £7m increase from the previous year.
DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL DETAILS OVER THE PHONE TO ANYONE REQUESTING THAT YOU MAKE A PAYMENT.
Tips and Advice
- Outstanding balance – BT may call you regarding an outstanding debt, however they will never disconnect your phone line during a call.
- Go direct – contact BT directly using a different phone line to check the status of your BT account, their accounts and billing number is 0800 800 150
- 30-minute rule – wait for at least 30 minutes. Even though you have hung up the phone a fraudster can keep the phone line open, you might not get a dialling tone when you try to make an outbound call.
- Don’t – be pressured into acting quickly, this is a ‘red flag’ and sign of a scam.
- Keep safe – never give your Pin, passwords or banking codes to anyone requesting them.
- Personal means private! – don’t divulge personal details unless you are certain who you are talking to.
- Contact your bank or credit card company if you have already given out financial details.
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud along with the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are here to help members make better decisions and avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.
For further information or for advice and assistance regarding any potential scam, call Reassura on 0800 888 6400