/ Technology

Have you been called by a ‘BT technical support’ phone scam?

Scam written on keyboard

Has the ‘Microsoft technical support’ phone scam evolved? Is it now the ‘BT technical support’ scam? We’ve heard from people who’ve been called… and we want to see whether there are more of you out there.

Remember the Microsoft support scam? It starts with a nuisance call, but can end with your PC being compromised and a dent in your bank account.

An unsolicited caller claims to be working for Microsoft’s support team, they ask to remotely access your PC, they ‘prove’ that your computer’s infected with viruses, and they offer to fix it for a fee.

The thing is, they’re not from Microsoft and your computer may be virus free. And even if your PC was infected, you could get it in ship shape condition with free antivirus software.

Hundreds of you have told us that you’ve been subject to this scam. Microsoft’s own survey found that one in five people in the UK have been called by one of these scam callers. Of those who fell victim to the scam, the average amount lost was  £745.

The ‘BT technical support’ scam

We’ve now received reports that the scam has changed, or at least that it’s evolved to be a call from ‘BT’s support team’.

One Which? member told us he thought he was speaking to someone from BT – he was then tricked into paying the best part of £400 to remove viruses from his PC.

Our Twitter follower Brian experienced something similar. He was called by someone claiming to work for BT’s Wi-Fi team. They told him there were problems with the broadband connection in his area and that they needed remote access to his computer to fix it. This took control away from Brian, his computer shut down and now he can’t start it up.

So we want to hear from you – have you been called by someone claiming to be from BT’s support team? Did they remotely access your computer? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Advice on technical support scams

Oh, and some advice for you if you’re called by one of these scammers, whether they purport to be from BT, Microsoft or another company. A caller does not know whether your PC is infected with viruses. Do not ever let a caller remotely access your PC – this hands them the keys to your personal data. And never hand over your bank details to an unsolicited caller.

If you think you’ve been a victim, run a virus scan, alert your bank and contact Action Fraud to report the scam.

One final thing you can do to help call time on scams is sign our stop nuisance calls peitition.

Comments
Guest
dipak says:
7 December 2018

had one of these BT Scam calls about someone from Belgium accessing my computer illegally etc they even gave me some made up name of that person. so for a laugh I just said, ya I know them, they are a good friend of mine. That just thru the scammers completely. They didn’t have any response and hung up.

Guest

I had a call a couple of days ago from a foreign sounding chap who said he was from Bt and my internet connection had been compromised and then asked me to go on my computor. I said to him this sounds like a scam and told him to go away or words to that effect. The phone No was 01286 347110 which is the area code for Caernarfon in Wales.
Today I received an INTERNATIONAL call from another foriegn sounding gentleman again from BT/Openreach saying my Internet is going to be cut off so I asked the question what is my name, address and Tel no. he promptly hung up.
Ten minutes later a lady rings to tell me that there is a problem and I replied no you are the problem and I hung up , that No was 01285 623924 the area code 01285 is not allocated to any area.

Guest

Just had 2 calls from ‘BT’. Different numbers 01259372807 and 01287510664. Both sounded suspicious so terminated calls.

Guest
Peter Hemnell says:
10 December 2018

Phone call from someone pretending to be from BT technical support telling me that two countries had access to my IP address and do I have a relative in Amsterdam. I said no and then the person said that my IP address was being compromised right now and if I logged onto my computer she could sort it out. I said “first I will call BT to see if this a genuine call”, and the person at the other end put the phone down.

Guest
Sir Peter James. says:
11 December 2018

If you are lucky enough to receive one of these calls don’t follow their instruction but just leave the line ‘open’ for 5 – 10mins – that way it’ll tie up the line stopping them pestering some other poor soul! Anyway; if my connection is being ‘compromised by someone in California’ then shouldn’t Iget the benefit of such a compromise?

Guest
Alistair Brown says:
12 December 2018

Hello. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone in suffering a plague of calls. We live in Scotland. Calls seem to occur at random. The record so far is three in one day. The number used is ‘not recognised’ when I use ringback. The caller in each case is a lady with a strong SE Asian accent who seems to follow a script and reads it very rapidly. It seems very unsophisticated. But there must be a risk that an elderly or otherwise vulnerable person could be taken in, and hand over control of their device to a scammer. Could BT or someone else do something to alert people to what is going on? I admire what Which? is doing – it’s a valuable public service to help keep folk safe.

Guest

Alistair-BT says contact -Action Fraud -BT–quote
As you can see, reporting scams can help to catch the scammers, and that’s where you come in.

You can report fraud, cybercrime, online scams or viruses through Action Fraud’s online reporting tool or by ringing up 0300 123 2040.

If you’ve got a scam email, report it to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) who sent you the email; it can then close the account that sent the email.

If the scam email is mimicking a company, contact the real company. It can verify that the communication is a fake and warn others to look out for it.

Premium phone rate scam victims can contact the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA), the official regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill. You can call on 0300 30 300 20 or head over to the PSA website

Guest

Hi Duncan. Many thanks for your helpful advice posted at 17:43 today – I’ve followed it and reported to Action Fraud. It made me feel better by doing something about it! I can’t help feeling that if telecomms providers were to put their minds to limiting this kind of activity, they could make life harder for the scammers. Best wishes.

Guest

I am the same as you Alistair I cant stand injustice and people being treated badly and feel a great need to do something about it.
Have a good Christmas.

Guest
jill Warner says:
14 December 2018

I’ve just had a call from 01453 377421 saying our BT internet isn’t secure and on line banking could be at risk. This was and automatic message as it was left on an answer machine. It said to press one, but as it was recorded I don’t know what would have happened next.

Guest

Jill >Press 1>good we have a live one here >human being (just ) >we have got to take you through a process of allowing access to your computer by downloading our app ( which will take control of your computer and access your data ).
And/or>you will be directed to a Premium call number /your telephone number will be sold to many third parties worldwide who will cause you untold harm by scamming you there is more but you get the message Jill?
Under NO circumstances click on /press buttons unless you want a bad -2019.

Guest
Leighton says:
15 December 2018

Just had an unsolicited call from “BT Openreach” as issues with my broadband. The guy tried to convince me he was genuine but have an email address ending in “.co.uk”. I told him I work regularly with BT but he could not explain why it was not @bt.com. After several calls to my answer phone the guy (John Wilson) from another continent gave up trying to convince me he was genuine. Others beware and report it as suggested above.

Guest

Just had a call purporting to be from BT Technical compartment stating there was a problem with my IP address which he could fix in 5 mins. I’m not racist but the Asian voice puts me off for a start. I questioned him for over 5 mins saying you are another scam but he insisted he was genuine as he knows there are others who do this. Eventually I said I’ve heard enough and hung up. The number he called from was 02179452813. My wife had taken a similar call 30 mins earlier this time the number was 01281965687.
Tried calling both numbers back but the number was not recognised