/ 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
Lynne spencer says:
6 September 2018

Have had several calls lately from Asian/Chinese sounding women I keep telling them I don’t have a computer and they say I’m being cut off and put the phone down 😡
Telephone number was 01582622919 can’t trace the number

Guest

Keep in mind –“The Survey Scam ” caller, usually a cultured Indian voice a step above “Indian call-desk level ” she only wants to ferret out information from you. Let down by the usual long stream telephone number used by scammers.

Guest
Gill Hughes says:
12 September 2018

I’ve been called several times and I’ve always hung up straight away – often after swearing!! I ‘ve checked the numbers – there have been at least 2 – and they have not been recognised – so I was sure it was a scam. -Very annoying to keep having to answer the phone!!

Guest

Received a call today from Indian lady saying that she was from BT and claiming that my broadband speed was too low and said you are using it now aren’t you to which I replied no and put the phone down.
Checked with BT who straight away said it was a scam to try and remotely access my computer.
The tel number they rang from was 0142036931 which is from Alton in England.
BT will never call you about problems with your computer, in fact they are not able to tell if you have a problem.If you get such a call hang up and call BT direct.

Guest
Lady B A Buchan says:
13 September 2018

I have just been called, third time in as many weeks, by the scammers. The lady gave an English name, clearly not her own, and asked for my son. The line is is my name, always has been. I was asked if I was the main user of the internet. I was then advised that there was a problem with my internet and they could fix it for free. I asked if they needed to remotely connect to my computer, the lady so no, so I asked how they could identify and fix the problem without remotely connecting, she hung up !! There was, of course, no way I would have allowed access. I have reported this to BT and asked them to block these calls, they know where they are coming from. For the record, BT has a call centre at Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, and you see the Asian staff arriving for work every day in the call centre !

Guest

Hello Lady Buchan -quote -they know where they are coming from — Thank you ! as the regulars here dont believe me maybe they will believe the Gentry and Aristocracy ?

Guest

Any modern telecom system can tell where calls are coming from, but the crucial point is that they cannot tell whether or not the call will be a nuisance or identify the person who is actually making the call.

In my experience the best households employ a butler to take the calls.

Guest

Or a call girl.

Guest

Thank you, Malcolm. Unfortunately my experience is clearly quite limited.

Guest

I think it would have to be a call person in these days of supposed equality.

Guest

Well, I won’t question this choice in public…. 🙁

Guest
J Freer says:
14 September 2018

Started getting automated nuisance calls pretending to be BT technical department recently – have put the phone down three times this week

Guest

Just had automated message from 01311378110 that my BT Internet line will be disconnected today. Message said to press 1 to connect BT and fix the problem or press 2 to continue with disconnection. I did neither and just hung up but wonder where I would have been connected to if I had followed instructions!!

Guest
DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Gayle, I received a similar scam call a few weeks ago.

As evidenced by this post, my internet is fine and still connected. 🙂

I chatted with the call centre operatives behind this scam a few times, but always ended up either being disconnected by them (if I asked awkward questions), or had to ask them to call me back later (which they sometimes did), if I was busy when they called.

Would you like to know more?

If so, the topic “scam baiting” will bring up many, many YouTube videos in which intrepid YouTubers show how these scammers will attempt to hack your PC and/or sell you expensive but bogus tech support packages, to solve problems you haven’t got.

Guest

By contacting them you are showing that they have a live one at the end of the phone and ,if they cant deal with you they sell it to another scamming third party . also realise that hitting 1 /2 or replying to them risks a hacker using spoofing to divert you to a premium line of which they get a certain percentage of the total income from your call.

Guest
Michelle says:
19 September 2018

I’ve just had a call from bt saying it appears I’m using a lot of internet from our router and the line might be insecure i told them i am with virgin and how would they know she tried to tell me by oversee everyone and if I swich my laptop on they could sort it out so I said a few choice words and hung up.

Guest

Just called by so called BT technical support team. The caller sounded Indian. The number was 03068967959 which is not traceable, when I said I couldn’t understand him he put the phone down. Obviously a scam.

Guest
DerekP says:
19 September 2018

I just had another one too.

I managed to waste quite a bit of their time while my PC was starting up.

Once again, their line concerned reports of problems arising in connection with my IP address.

Then I made the mistake of asking for the IP address in question. At that point they hung up.

Next time I hope to spin them out for longer and waste more of their time.

Guest

I haven’t had that one for a while.

Ask them to explain how they know there is a problem. You get some interesting answers to which you can ask a few more questions trying to sound not too intelligent.

My nuisance caller this week is Maria again who only wants to ask me a few simple questions. She has called from 2 ‘Scottish’ numbers and 2 withheld numbers in 3 days. She ends the call as I am trying to get her to spell the company she works for. She talks very quickly with a foreign accent so I have to keep asking her to repeat herself.
🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂

Guest
Malcolm J says:
20 September 2018

Have had seven calls in the last 6 days. All were made from the Plymouth code area; the last three being 01752880699, 01752822051 and 01752842943. As the caller any questions such as where they are calling from, or who they are wishing to speak to and they hang up. Next time, if I am not busy, I intend playing along with them for a while and wasting THEIR time.

Guest

I was called by an Indian-sounding man called Michael. He told me that I he was from BT technical services and that my internet connection would be suspended from midnight tonight. As an experienced Citizens Advive worker, I sensed immediately that it was

Guest
David Cooke says:
25 September 2018

I have received several calls alleging to be from BT Technical Department. Each time the caller was clearly an Asian woman calling from an Exeter number, calling the number back it was not recognised. The story was they have received fault reports from my router and they can solve this problem. Obviously I did not fall for this and as soon as I asked for any verification of identity, eg BT account number or email address they immediately hung up. Has this been reported to the Cyber Crime unit to try to trace these criminals?