/ 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.

Tony says:
6 August 2019

I answered my friend’s landline to a recorded posh English voice with the usual “BT support your computer has been hacked and we are going to disconnect your broadband”.

CLI showed 07647883538 which is fake and not in service.

Paul James says:
7 August 2019

I had one of these calls this morning, first one in quite a while. How I deal with them depends on what I’m doing at the time, if busy I’ll just request that they just go and perform the physically impossible on themselves and hang up. Otherwise if just browsing on the PC I string them along saying I’m using an old Amstrad 286 computer which takes ages to load, then that the keys they say I should press don’t exist on my keyboard, then that the screen has gone blue and the PC needs rebooting, this can go round in a circle for quite some time but the phone is on speaker so no big deal for me. Longest one has been close to an hour, during which I did my monthly business accounts and filed the online VAT report. As the end of that one I had to go out so told the guy that I’d just realised it was a scam, you wouldn’t believe the torrent of abuse I got from the scamming scumbag! I was amazed that such language would be used by a person working for BT!!

Just had a similar call but realised straight away it was a scam and put the phone down. No-one would employ a person with such a boring voice to contact the public , he sounded like that most-boring voice priest in Father Ted when they were trapped in the lingerie department !

Nicola Beckett says:
20 August 2019

called by an indian gentleman asking to access my lapto claiming he was from BTs technical department .I googled this and found it was a scam. The giveaway is they don’t ask any security questions. also they say your internet access has been compromised , when I asked how and by who they didn’t seem to know. How did they get my number in the first place though ??