/ 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
Big Nig says:
23 March 2018

My sister received a call from a so called BT Engineer saying ‘There was a problem with her Wi-Fi but everything was working ok. They turned up and luckily someone else was there and asked why are you here ? Wii problem. Was told to go away in polite words and hasn’t been seen again. Just very worrying why people keep on doing this approach but realise there are SAD people out there who do not care. Enough said.

Guest

Someone actually turned up at her door? That is a worrying turn. I hope the ‘engineer’ was reported to the police.

Guest

This is serious Alfa it points to local criminal activity, I agree the Police at once.

Guest
Sue Heard says:
23 March 2018

I received a call purportedly from a BT engineer and the no was not available on my phone. He said he knew I had had problems with my internet speed. He spoke with a slight American accent and called me Ma’am, which isn’t normal language from BT. I said he wasn’t from BT, was a liar, to get a life and get off my phone. I was angry as I almost fell to the Microsoft scam some years ago and only the ineptness of the caller and my breakfast getting cold saved me.

Guest
Blowers says:
24 March 2018

I have just received a call from a woman with an American accent purporting to be BT Systems Engineer advising me that my computer is compromised and that my connection will be terminated. The next person who came on the line spoke with an Indian accent. When I asked when he was calling from he replied that he was from BT Systems Support, I then said that BT is not controlled from the US and that this call is BS, he hung up.

Note that all of the scammers call when we may expect to receive a communication from foreign parts e.g. when BT has closed for the day.

Guest
STeve says:
27 March 2018

I just had ‘BT Openreach’ offering to increase my line speed.
Luckily, I spotted it was a scam and had a bit of fun by asking for a name and number for me to call back. Each time he gave me a number, I read it back to him with just one digit wrong. He got cheesed off and hung up.
It is worrying that other people may get duped into falling for this scam. Be careful out there.

Guest
Steve Turner says:
4 April 2018

Just happened to me with a call from India and in addition, when I said I was hanging up they said they would dynamite my house! Is there nothing that can be done?

Guest
Sarah Morgan says:
29 March 2018

29th March2018
Just had a call from someone purporting to be from BT Openreach Technical Department. He spoke with an ‘Indian’ accent. I suspected it was a scam bur let him do his little speech about slow internet speeds and malware having been downloaded. He wanted me to download a program called cmd. I asked him to repeat a few things and asked him a few questions while I googled ‘BT Openreach Technical Department’. This brought up a selection of headings with the word ‘scam’ in. At this point I told him that I was not going to change anything on my computer and that I had found a lot of records of scams involving people pretending to be from BT Openreach and I started to read out the headings to him. The phone then went dead!
After a minute or so I got another call from a ‘Private number’ which I answered as the previous call has said ‘Withheld’. It was the same caller apologising for having got cut off previously. I told him that I was not going to carry on the call as I had been reading the articles thrown up by google and I proceeded to read one out to him. The phone went dead again and I haven’t received another call. Oddly enough I had a call from BT yesterday afternoon offering me some monthly deals for my mobile phone.

Guest
Tony says:
29 March 2018

I’ve recently upgraded with Sky to fibre; they mentioned in taking on this service that they’d be testing the speed over a couple of weeks to get it running properly. Today I had a call from an Indian accented lady saying she was calling from BT Open Reach as they had discovered a problem with my router.

At first I thought that this was do with my recent upgrade; alas a short time into the conversation she said she’d transfer me to an engineer who would help to get the router working efficiently. He then proceeded to tell me that he needed my to type in to a browser window a particular url…it was at the point I smelt the rat. I asked him why he needed to do that he said all would be well as all he needed was to access the router. I said that I wasn’t prepared to do that and BT should send an engineer if there was a problem.

With that he hung up. Less savvy consumers may easily fall for this scam and I’m sure they do. Had I given him any form of access I shudder to think what could have happened.

Seriously worrying. Are BT and BT Open Reach aware that calls are being made to unsuspecting people, many of whom would fall for this?

Guest

Tony-BT are aware of its customers receiving those calls and advise them to hangup , you contact SKY if you are a SKY customer as SKY has its own equipment in BT,s exchange so you deal with them . BT cannot interfere with any electronic switching /barring/ blocking /etc of another ISP. This was set out in legislation by the Government.

Guest

but many MUST listen to all that is said on EVERY call the receive no matter who advises them not to .Cut people off they cannot do that it might offend the “person” at the other end of the line

Guest

Your right Bishbut its called being a nice person ,certainly helps them “enter the Kingdom of Heaven ” .

Guest
Christine says:
31 March 2018

I’ve had several calls during the last few days purporting to be from BT tech support (sounded like India). They said there was a problem with my broadband and they wanted me to log on to my pc,so that they could talk me through the fix. I told them I didn’t have one, only an iPad (I do have one, but I didn’t want to tell them that) and then they said they would send an engineer round. I told them no thanks and hung up. I suspected it was a scam of some kind and did my own broadband check via my BT account and there are no problems with my broadband.

Guest
Brad says:
31 March 2018

I received a call from a so called BT engineer claiming that there were problems with the IP addresses linked to my server. When I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with discussing anything without verifying it with BT he proceeded to give me a number to verify him on. I played a long and said I would call to verify and to call me back shortly, during this time fortunately I had confirmed with BT that this was a scam. Surprisingly he then called back and said he was waiting for the call to verify him!! I then added that I checked independently through a BT number on the Internet who confirmed it was a scam, this did not put him off and it took me putting the phone down twice and telling him not to call me again to stop the calls. Being a fraud investigator by profession I am naturally suspicious but some people would trust this to be genuine. My advice never use the number given by them to verify the call always look on the Internet and get a number from their site!!

Guest
Caroline Wood says:
3 April 2018

“Gary” phoned claiming to be from BT telling me my broadband would be disconnected unless the malware from would be hackers could be removed. He said he would guide me through the process and I put the phone down. He phoned again a few hours later and I made it clear I did not believe him. The number came up as a 0208 one and was much clearer than usual and “Gary” was much more plausible than the callers I usually hear.

Guest
I Warren says:
3 April 2018

I received a phone call from “BT support team” – to let me know that someone is trying to steal my broadband. The Person had a heavy duty Asian accent. they were working in a call centre – or there was a background noise to simulate that. I chose to finish the phone call immediately before they asked me to give them access to my computer so they can trace who is “stealing my broadband”. I guess as having slow internet connection may be attributed to people ‘stealing your bandwith’ – someone may go for this approach.

Guest
Lynn Stevenson says:
4 April 2018

I’ve just received a call from a “BT Technical Engineer” which is the second call in a week. The first call said my computer had been compromised. I put the telephone down both times.

Guest
jenny Q says:
5 April 2018

same here only they keep trying to phone , have blocked them 3 times and still they get through on another number

Guest
glynell says:
4 April 2018

Just had the call from BT support saying my broadband would terminate today as my line had been compromised from California. Press 1 to change providers, press 2 for …….put the phone down.

Guest
Jodie says:
19 April 2018

I just had exactly the same phone call it sounded computerised and said my wifi had been compromised from California and to press 1or 2 so I put the phone down

Guest
claire evans says:
5 April 2018

Yes – we’ve been having constant calls from an American woman telling us that our BT line is compromised and that from tonight we shall have no internet. She then asks us to press 1 or 2 key on our phone to find out what we should do to avoid this. If you just hold but don’t do anything, she hangs up . it sounds like a recorded call as the voice doesn’t start for an appreciable gap. We have received at least 4 calls from her over the past 2 days.

Guest
Pierre says:
5 April 2018

I keep getting these calls on a daily basis! My record so far is 13 in one day, but at nearly 11.00am today I currently have received 5 so far! They seem to be more direct now urging me to switch on my computer so they can show me where the viruses are that they can apparently detect on my Broadband!! as long as they do not use with-held numbers, then I will keep blocking them one by one on Call Protect.

Guest

a long time ago these calls were a plague. But then I joined the Govt TPS (Telephone Preference System) and after a month, calls dropped by 99%. I still get the odd ‘ I see you have had an accident’ – my reply was , how did you see me fall out of bed?
I am being pestered by one scam only, the calls originate from Leicester (016642) so I know who is doing it. Anyway, I called Virgin and explained the situation and asked if it can be blocked. They said if we block it, it will be nationwide. I replied that surely thats a good thing. So the lad I spoke to said he would pass it upstairs – in the meantime he activated caller ID on my phone. when they try again, about once a day, it can see its them and dont answer. This particular scam takes money from the call, no voice contact.

The phoney Microsoft engineers are a thing of the past now.

Guest
Jo says:
6 April 2018

I have had a similar call today -BT OpenReach claiming that “malicious” malware is being downloaded via my router. I asked the caller (again, lots of background noise in what sounded like an overseas call centre) for a number on which I could call him back – eventually he gave 0800 800 59 59 0 and disconnected the call abruptly. Having googled it, I’m assuming this isn’t a genuine number but I won’t be returning his call.

Guest
paul says:
6 April 2018

Same as below. Automated call saying from BT and that my line had been compromised in California. They’ll try anything now. Makes me wonder how many people are falling for their B.S. to have them continue to do this. It must be lucrative or they wouldn’t bother. So please people, EDUCATE your family and friends to not fall for this b******s, so it makes it no longer viable as a money making scam.

Guest
Alice says:
6 April 2018

I had this same call at around 1.30pm today.

Guest
Kam says:
6 April 2018

I have been off work for my Easter break and I am not joking everyday I have had a call from someone claiming to be from virgin media technical support. Today they have called me 3 times. I know it’s a scam but I can’t get rid of these people.

Guest
Mark says:
6 April 2018

Had a call today from the BT tech support call centre, said he was calling from 84 Upgate street in London, the usual loud busy office noise in the background, it was fairly obvious that it was a scam but It might not be the same for an elderly person. Kept the person on the phone for twenty minutes, fictitious delivery driver at the door, cant find my spectacles, etc. Keeping him occupied saved some poor soul from receiving a call. Got him to bite in the end when he realised he has been scammed himself. Spread the word about these nasty people please!!!!!!

Guest

Getting really fed up with scam calls from bt saying there’s a problem with your internet. 6.30 am they called this morning

Guest

Its not going to change Dave until the government introduces legislation to force telecom companies to block them , something HMG is adverse to do as the business world use the same system to hide their location . I am sorry to say you will need to buy a call-blocker or use BT,s blocking service if you are a customer of BT , if not, your own company should provide help.

Guest
Anon says:
9 April 2018

I’m afraid I am a victim of BT Technical services scam. Took place only Thursday of last week! My internet was down and the broadband on my router was blinking orange non stop…my pc was on. I then received a call from what I know no was a scam call from BT Technical services …They addressed me by name and knew my address. I panicked as I could see they had remote access to my pc and could see all my files going before my eyes. I’d only tried to see if this was a scam but by doing so they were into my pc. With this I pulled plug on my router but they had already encrypted my pc. This is now with police and Action Fraud. I’ve had to change absolutely every single password, username had IP address changed,bank details the lot. Since this incident I’ve logged two more calls…as soon as say BT open reach or BT Technical services I pilut phone down as they were in my pc like a shot!!!!

Guest

Anon if your router was flashing Orange then it wasnt connecting to the internet so I dont see how hackers could “control ” your computer and you “could see ” that they controlled your PC it must have returned to Blue for that to happen and for your PC to be encrypted you must have obeyed their instructions or clicked on something . I have said for ages NEVER leave ANY remote access apps on your computer it just cuts out one more action the hackers need to take. Changing your password etc is NOT good enough in your case a COMPLETE -RE-INSTALLATION is required unless you have the technical capabilities to go deep into Windows programming searching out every bit of malware . Get back to me if you need help Anon. For anybody supporting those remote access apps please talk to Anon and reimburse/contribute to help her loss. Action Fraud and the Police means she has lost much money !