/ Money

Listen to this new IP address scam phone call

A member recently contacted us when they received a scam phone call about their IP address. Fortunately, they recorded the call so we could warn others. Have you heard this one?

I recently received a scam call as I was rushing to the train station one Monday morning – I missed it, but they left a message.

As I juggled tapping in, checking the board and listening to the voicemail, I almost dropped my phone in shock. Apparently, I hadn’t done my taxes right and there was a warrant out for my arrest. I had to call them back on that number immediately.

In my distracted and panicked state, I almost believed them, but I soon realised it was a scam and we turned the voicemail into a cautionary video on how to spot the HMRC voicemail scam.

IP distress

We’ve since been alerted to yet another type of voicemail scam – and this time it’s about your IP address.

Another automated message left in a woman’s voice says:

“In 24 to 48 hours as your IP address has been compromised from several countries so we need to change your IP address and router which will be free of charge… so please press 1 to get connected with the technician.”

Here’s the full recording:

Like the HMRC scam voicemail, this IP address phone scam also preys on panic and urges you to make a rushed decision – to call them back before you can properly think things through.

Panic response

It’s worth repeating here some sage advice for spotting any scam: being pressured to act quickly is one of the main warning signs something could be a scam.

The scammers will take advantage of your panic and when you call them back, they’ll sound convincing and will ask you questions to steal your personal data.

This in turn may well see you put on a ‘suckers list’ of future targets for scams.

What to do

If you get a voicemail or message out of the blue that worries you, make sure you don’t give out any personal information. And if you’re sure it’s a scam, hang up.

Always question any out of the blue phone call – whether they say they’re from a legitimate organisation or not – if they ask for banking details or credit card information.

For more tips on what to do if you’re contacted out of the blue, read our free how to spot a scam guide.

It’s also really important you report the scam so the authorities can investigate it and shut it down as quickly as possible. You can do this with Action Fraud’s online reporting tool.

Have you had any experiences with scam calls? What were they and did you call them back while you were rattled? Share your stories with us.


I normally recognise a scam call. Recently I have had a few from allegedly ‘Telephone Preference Service’ (but not!). They tell me I am now protected against, fraudulent calls. I thank them, but they carry on …”can you confirm your address is ….” to which I say I will not confirm or deny. When I have decided I have had enough and ring off, I then ring back using the 141 prefix to block my number. More often than not it is a n/u number. I am with TalkTalk and they provide a code which will allow you to block the last number called, which I do.

Another thing I have done in the past is to start talking to them, then suddenly ask them to hold on a minute – put the phone on mute and carry on with what you are doing. Eventually they start calling “hello, hello” etc. to which you ignore. Eventually they get fed up and ring off .. but you have wasted their time, preventing them ringing someone else!

Chris Walter says:
13 July 2019

There are calls claiming to be from a service provider saying you have to log in “for data protection” who want to harvest your password.
They ask for 1st 5th and 8th, then say incorrect and ask for 2nd 4th and 6th
Repeating this for 1st, 3rd & 7th gets the whole number!!!
Problem with your Windows computer is another one, I have a Mac and if bored I go along with it and they eventually get the message I’m talking about real windows…..

One of the favourite things for these scammers is to use programs like TeamViewer to get them to connect to you computer so they can either infect it with a virus or copy sensitive data etc. I’ve had more than one call of this type where they pretend to be your ISP and nee ‘to help you’. When I have the time I keep them on line as long as possible, easily done by appearing to be completely stupid, I think that gives them the sense that they’re going to get something from you. Never give them control of your computer!

I have just had a call from BT. They advise me IPN address has been compromised in California. I need to press 1 for BT or 2 for other provider. It is a recorded woman’s voice. The number called was01282 064876. BT do not ever call anyone regarding IPN addresses. The number has now been blocked on my BT call protect. They will probably call again but new number used.

Martin R Jackson says:
7 January 2019

Date: 07/01/2019 I was telephoned by an automated female voice at 9.02 am this morning saying my IP address had been compromised. Obviously a scam. It seems strange that this happened less than 24 hours after complaining to scrbd [dot com] that they had illegally copied my novel and made it available for free on the internet… an utter disregard for copyright. Could this be retribution?

Hi Martin, whilst it might be retribution, I think it is much more likely to be coincidence, because pretty much everyone is a potential target for these scam calls.

PS – sorry to hear about the copyright violation. Is that sort of thing a growing problem for e-book authors?

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Marty says:
20 June 2019

@Duncan, which one? Do yo refer to scribd dot com? Because that’s a well-known okay one, not a scam. I don’t see any other URLs referenced here…

Sadly, Duncan is no longer with us to provide help.

I’m getting quite good at recognising scam calls. There is usually a silence of a few seconds and often some kind of very brief background noise before someone say’s “Hello.” That voice is often foreign and might be real or recorded. At this point I hang up and hope that anyone who really wants me is not wondering what’s happened. They never seem to ring back.

Sandy says:
4 February 2019

I just got several calls form “Kathleen from Microsoft” about my I.P. address being compromised in several countries. I think they have called at least 4 times. What a bunch of persistent pests! I have business on this phone line and they keep calling when I’m waiting for important business calls. I’m getting really tired of this garbage!

This automated IP address scam voicemail has changed slightly, same voice but now sounding more urgent saying something like ‘This is BT, your internet will be disconnected today’, press 1 ……….

Hi Amelia, scammers seem to now have access to a lot of unused phone numbers.

In the past, whenever I got a scam phone call and looked up the number, it would have already been reported many times over quite a long period. But in the past few weeks, I have been the first person to report several numbers so the scammers now have access to more unused numbers.

I got to thinking how they would have access to these numbers and came up with……..

We get a lot of silent calls, pick up the phone and nobody is on the other end. Presumably they are automated, so the dialler would be able to distinguish unused numbers from used numbers and answerphones, creating a huge database of numbers available to spoof.

Nuisance calls are on the increase again, most of them are automated voices asking you to press 1 to speak to someone. They are much quicker and likely to achieve more results than the Indian call centre scammer.

Nuisance calls bosses being hit with big fines does not go far enough, the Information Commissioner’s Office now needs to go after the caller ID spoofers.

I made a suggestion not long ago and asked if it is possible to stop phone numbers traversing the phone lines/airwaves if they are not in genuine use or being paid for.

Your theory is entirely plausible, Alfa. I agree that the latest calls are quicker but I wonder whether the hit rate is better – personally I consider them less engaging and more likely to lead to quicker termination by the called party; but that might all be part of the calculation, with higher turnover, shorter durations, lower costs [if anyone pays], and more click-throughs.

We never had this problem when someone on a swivel chair had to plug a jack into a socket in a frame on a switchboard. Do we have to accept it as the price we pay for digital communication?

Automated calls are usually:
Press 1 to speak to someone or
Press 2 to stop receiving these calls

Whenever I check unknown phone numbers and get led to a reporting site, it never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t just put the phone down, but react by pressing 1 or 2. Pressing 1 to speak to someone can be with the intention of telling them where to go as much as seeking the ‘assistance’ being offered.

Now, if people savvy enough to look up these numbers are reacting, what about the rest?

With these latest automated calls, I haven’t yet read that anyone got connected to a real person by pressing 1 to talk to someone.

I have suggested to people for a long time, never press buttons in answer to these calls as they might get charged for a very expensive foreign call.

So is pressing buttons the scammers new way of making money? They can either cut out the call centres altogether or keep them as a bonus for when the victim initiates the conversation.

Good advice not to press buttons. For private individuals not running a business I would advise not answering any call that you dont recognise.

Phone companies and Government are partly to blame for this epidemic. Why should there be premium rate calls except to exploit.

I have always been wary of unsolicited calls and the only time I press buttons is if I initiate the call and go through the button pressing procedure to connect me to someone who can help.

Perhaps it’s time to put an end to premium rate calls as you suggest, Paul, except perhaps where we make the call.

I receive the scam call about the ‘IP being compromised’, almost every week – sometimes twice.
There’s also ‘accident insurance’, relating to an accident that I have never had. I expect they strike lucky occasionally – calling somebody who has had one.

Lin-Lee Aspin says:
8 March 2019

Just had the IP address compromised call from 0114 272 6130, asking me to press #1 to be connected to a technician.

Hi Lin-Lee,

Did you press a button in response? If so, please can you keep an eye on your phone bill and report back here if you got charged?

If you log in to reply to my post, you will be able to find your post easily again.

I just received a recorded message for one of these scams.

It was from 01550357414 which I’ve flagged up on the “Who called ?” website.

At least this time, I was already too busy with other things to engage in any scam baiting.

I get the bt ip adress scam all the time but no one can stop automated computer generated calls its very frustrating

ME says:
2 May 2019

Getting calls twice a day to my NZ landline number saying exactly the same as the recorded message above. The number on caller ID is [This comment has been edited to remove personal information. Community guidelines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines ]

Call appears to be coming from a UK number, but an Australian accent is used

Hi ME, It is interesting to hear about these scams in other countries.

Most of the ‘about to disconnect your internet’ calls I get now are a posh-ish computerised voice with very bad grammar so probably originating in a non-English speaking country where they have little understanding of the different accents.

Area code 01971 is for a very small district called Scourie in the north of Scotland where there will be many unused phone numbers. I would like to see a block put on unused numbers as scammers use/spoof them to keep any reporting to a minimum.

The calls that I have had this year have shown up as international, so there is no number displayed.

Interesting to hear an international view on this. What sort of scam reporting does NZ have?

I literally just got this call & almost fell for it
luckily there was so much noise in the background of the Indian (alleged “BT Technician” call center) that I could not hear the guy telling me that I was being hacked by someone called “Crawl” in California & that I needed to be disconnected from the internet to stop this hack…I got transferred to another “technician” the line was so bad that the guy said he would call me back…something dd not feel right so I checked for scams on IP address’s & found this blog…when he called back the line was perfect so I told him as I worked in IT I was checking this for myself & that I was recording the call….the line went dead faster than I could blink

Recorded call, then a queue, then Martin from BT spoke. IP compromised but all I needed to do was log in to my account on BT. He asked me to call 0800800151 to verify that this was real. I didn’t log in as I thought that maybe there was some sneaky way they could read my log in details as I was using the same line as my broadband for the call. I did say (not very politely) to Martin that it was wrong to try to scam people and to have people waiting in a queue to be scammed was an insult (even if it is ironically clever).
As all these calls seem to come from India so the perpetrators should be identified there and get a visit from law enforcement to shut them down.

Ken Chambers says:
5 August 2019

I have today received an automated call saying my “IP address has been compromised press 1 to be connected to a engineer, so instead I rang my service supplier and was told it is a scam and there was nothing compromised to my IP address.”

John Schofield says:
21 August 2019

Nice one, Ray Hall.
I have a scam call on average every second day. The trick in scam baiting is to keep them on the line as long as possible. After a call wanting my IP address today I thought that next time I will go through all the motions of being naive etc then give them a fake IP address. I have got one which appears to be a dodgy site in Brazil. You can find these by Googling ‘fake ip addresses’.
When the caller starts his pitch, note the time and write it down, eg ’20’. Then you can say ‘Well, X, I have now wasted x minutes of your time.’
We should pool ideas about leading scammers on.

For virtuoso scam baiting, I really enjoy Kitboga’s YouTube channel.

I had a scam call from someone saying they were calling from Amazon . They proceeded to tell me that I had ordered an iPhone but it was being sent to a Manchester address. She said i needed to get on to my IP address. I said to her that there was no orders on my Amazon account she then said this order would be hidden for 24 hours . I said to her I don’t believe you need that and there is no way she was calling from Amazon. Yes there is an order there why don’t you believe me she said. I replied your a scammer and I’m reporting you to the police . Then I hung up. Contacted Amazon directly and the advisor confirmed this was a scam as they never do outbound calls. They also sent me an email advising how t deal with these calls.

I’ve notice an uptick in scam calls recently. Several ‘Amazon Prime’ ones in the past few days, one from ‘Microsoft support’, and today one telling me that ‘my IP address has been compromised’. I’ve worked in the computer industry most of my life, and what I was being told was nonsense. Aside from the heavy South-East Asian accent, and claims to be called ‘Eric’ or ‘David’, another clue to a scam telephone call is the several seconds they take to connect once you answer.

Gemma H says:
3 March 2021

I received this same call this morning saying my up Adresse had been hacked I hung up but when I looked at the number that was calling it was exactly the same as my phone number except the last three digits???

Gemma thanks for that interesting report. The scammers are usually based in India but used faked UK caller display numbers.

We get quite a few spammers on our landline who spoof numbers starting with our local area code. They probably think a local number looks more legitimate so you are more likely to answer the call.

Ever since I had a nuisance call that appeared to be from my own number I lost all confidence in caller ID.