/ 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.

Robert Curwen-Reed says:
14 July 2017

I was called today at 11.11am by an indian woman claiming to be calling from the BT Technical department and asking if I was aware that my internet service was going to be disconnected. I asked her why she thought this was going to happen and she said that they had been getting a lot of error and fault messages from my line. At this point I told her she was a criminal making a scam call and hung up. The call number was 01292 482049.

Farthing says:
14 July 2017

Today, I was contacted at 1440 hrs I was contacted by what sounded like an Indian man who stated he was from the BT Technical team. He claimed that my computer was uploading malicious material onto the Internet. I closed down the call and within 5 minutes he had rung back and repeated his ere questions for me to turn on my computer. I questioned the kind of line that I was using and he became very aggressive and handed me over to someone who claimed to be his manager. He threatened to close down my telephone line and block my Internet connection. I informed him that I was closing the conversation. He was still talking when I hung up.
I immediately rang 1471 and was told that the caller was unknown.

Angus says:
17 July 2017

A “Norton Advisor” has joined in – asked me to type ‘eventvwr’, at which point I stopped and ‘spoke sharply’ to him. He hung up!