The Housing and Public Protection Service has received a number of complaints about hoax telephone calls being received, allegedly from BT. Reports are that residents have received a phone call/message advising that unless they take action, following a security issue, to maintain or renew their broadband they will be disconnected in 48 hours.
In order to make the call look more genuine the displayed telephone number appears to be local, however this is likely to have been bought by someone who is calling from abroad. It is not possible to call the number back, but the message requests that the recipient needs to press a number to be redirected.
BT state on their 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. We take these cases very seriously. So please let us know if you've been the victim of a scam call so we can work to stop fraudsters in their tracks.”
Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for planning, housing and resilience added: “There have been a significant number of reports in the Bellingham area, and another in North Northumberland from residents who have received these calls. Please be on your guard and do not press any numbers that will connect you to these scammers.”
To reduce the risks of falling for email scams BT has issued the following tips:
We’ll never call out of the blue and:
Tell you that your service has been hacked
Try to remotely take control of your device
Tell you we’ve found a problem with your computer
Ask you for an urgent payment and threaten to disconnect your service
Ask for payment details to activate Caller Display, Call Protect or any of our free services.
If you receive one of these calls and would like further advice you can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 404 0506, or report any potential fraud to ‘Action Fraud’ at www.actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud, or by calling 03001232040. Alternatively BT state that you can report a scam to them at ww.bt.com/scams
Useful advice for consumers and businesses is available on the Take Five - To Stop Fraud website at https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/