/ 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
Ian Humphries says:
20 April 2019

Just had a call from “Peter Wilson – says his id was BT800” At least 3 different people on the call. Female front end, then to tech support and Peter. BT Engineer in area – your IP address is public. Your system is compromised. Had me try validating logons and had pages of HTMLE error and warning codes – email and amazon, then wanted me to log into my bank account (online banking). When I said no, want to check on the babble he was telling me, he put me through to his “supervisor” and when I still said no, he finally hung up.
Pretty sure this is a scam – but very professional and very convincing.

eddie says:
23 April 2019

Just had a call from someone with an indian accent telling me they are Daniel from bts technical dept, I hung up and then dialled 1471, the answer from them was they do not have the number to return the call, good job I hung up obviously a scam

Fred says:
8 May 2019

In the HR1 post code. Just had a call from an automated call saying my broad band was causing problems for others in the area and was about to be cut off. They gave two options: 1- speak to an engineer and 2- continue with the disconnection.

Hung up and dialled 1471, but no number was available.

Fred, that’s par for the course with these scams.

From Jim Browning’s YouTube channel, here’s a look inside a scam call centre:

youtube.com/watch?v=xb_rgQ4IDS8

Margaret Small-Allan says:
13 May 2019

I had a scammer 5 minutes ago,with an upper class male accent, claiming to be BT and my internet being cut off. The automatic call asked me to press various numbers on my phone! I told whoever was there that I did not need to be scammed today, Thankyou and hung up! I dialled 1471, and got this number [This comment has been edited to remove personal information. Community guidelines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines. You can report the number here: https://www.which.co.uk/tools/report-a-call-or-text/ ]. Beware if it comes up on your phone, and let it ring out!

BobA says:
9 May 2019

Selena from BT technical department telling me my internet connection will be terminated today. Usual Press 1 to connect to BT Press 2 to disconnect internet. When I asked for futher details of where her office was situated she terminated the call

[This comment has been edited to remove personal information. Community guidelines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines. You can report the number here: https://www.which.co.uk/tools/report-a-call-or-text/ ]

Martha Ferrans says:
10 May 2019

I have had the same call, twice yesterday on the 9th of May and once today and its not even 9.30am yet. What do I do? so far I’ve just put the phone down, as if B.T. were going to terminate my internet they would surely contact me in writing or through my account. Am I doing the correct thing by just putting the phone down?

Yes, Martha. That is by the far the best way to deal with such calls. Engaging with them is pointless although some people regard it as an amusing occupation. I can assure you nothing bad will happen if you ignore them but if you press any numbers it will confirm an active line.

Diane says:
10 May 2019

Called today from a very convincing lady at 8.42am advising from BT Technical Support – phone number 07880 600109 – I advised her that I was not switching my computer on, she advised that my Internet would be terminated within 48 hours if I did not update my Internet Connection! She advised that she was from BT and this was not a SCAM Call, I advised that I would contact BT direct and speak to their technical team, and indeed if this was not a SCAM chances are I would be speaking directly to her again! – She did not like this reply so then proceeded to try and convince me to carry out with her instructions – I refused! Eventually she gave up and I hung up!

Nice one Diane. I currently too busy to play with them, so I’ve just muted the ringer on my landline phone. i never give out my landline number, so any and all of my legitimate calls come through on my mobile (and I don’t always answer that either).

AJ says:
13 May 2019

Just had a call stating he was from Virgin Media, i told him that the only connection he had with Virgin Media was the pigeon English he was speaking, HE HUNG UP haha

[This comment has been edited to remove personal information. Community guidelines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines. You can report the number here: https://www.which.co.uk/tools/report-a-call-or-text/ ]

julie walker says:
15 May 2019

iam getting these scam bt calls from 8.15 in the morning till sometimes 3 in afternoon every half n hour its automated it sounds like a dalek its driving me mad .ive got call protect so report it but thats it

Hi Julie,

Sorry to hear that you are being troubled by these calls.

At least if you’ve got BT Call Protect you can report the numbers that these calls seem to be coming from, so those number would then get block, not only for you, but for everybody else on Call Protect.

That said, those numbers seem to be fake numbers, i.e. ones generated by the VOIP software that the scammers use to make these calls. So the calls may keep coming…

Brian says:
15 May 2019

I’ve had two calls today from and obviously synthesised male voice telling me my BT landline and internet will be “terminated today”: “Press One to fix up the problem, or Two to continue with the termination” I think I’ll risk the likelihood that this is a scam, and simply put the phone down. “… fix up the problem” ??! Someone could make a good living from correcting the dodgy grammar from these folk…. Still, when my little girl answers that phone, she might well press a number. Bottom feeders.

Steve says:
16 May 2019

Every day I get this call sometimes twice a day
BT call protect is useless it won’t deal with the call, come on BT sort this out
A very American voice gives the scam away

Malcolm Rawlins says:
17 May 2019

Called by ‘BT’ automated female today. Advising of internet cut off because of a problem advised me to press 1 to continue – hung up call

Bob says:
20 May 2019

The usual Press 1 to contact technical department to repair the fault or press 2 to start the shutdown of my internet and landline. Call came from [This comment has been edited to remove personal information. Community guidelines: https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines. You can report the number here: https://www.which.co.uk/tools/report-a-call-or-text/ ]

Harriet says:
20 May 2019

I get these regularly. Sometimes automated , sometimes they from ‘BT’ sometimes they dont say where they are from . I usually tell them to get a decent job , or if they say they are going to cut my internet service I tell them to go ahead .

Garrett says:
25 May 2019

I received a cold call from ‘BT technical support’. He said my IP address (he reeled off a plausible number) had also been used in Nigeria. He wanted access to my computer to change my IP address. When I told him my IP address was assigned by my ISP he rang off.

NIck Harman says:
7 June 2019

For me its almost three time a day and always an automated voice. Of course I know it’s a scam and I hang up immediately, but I am fed up with going all the way to the phone to answer the thing. I can’t assume it’s not a real call each time, it’s very annoying

Trevor Haldenby says:
10 June 2019

Had 2 phone calls this morning purporting to be from BT Technical support to say our BT broadband is being disconnected because someone is trying to access our personal details.This was followed by an options list. The phone numbers are: 01213192701 and 01245237909. We hung up. We don’t have any BT products.

David Stenson says:
11 June 2019

had a call today ,an automated message from some one with an americanish accent saying the re was a problem with my internet and if I did not call bt I could be prosecuted for fraud. Very interesting as I am not a BT customer, I would venture to suggest this is a scam

George Dymond says:
12 June 2019

I too had this caller . very strange. was able to convince me by telling me there were x amount of workmen outside my property and he needed to gain access to my computer using msconfig.. i first went outside and yes there was “x” amount of engineers? so whilst listening to hime {and being old and slow} i did a google check on this call number and instruction! .. it turned out to be a scam.. bts answer to my following was understandably rubbish. AND the promise of reinstating my copper line so i can get SECURITY fell at the third hurdle of my follow up calls.. apparently they cant make fiber to the premises lines have this security!
UNLESS i pay!

Michael says:
14 June 2019

I had phone call today from 0177105893 and one yesterday 01774853228
It said it’s BT technical support and that I have my computer hacked by foreign person press 1 to speak to BT.
This is very common to BT never had problems with Talk talk or Virgin. But with last couple of years very common. The calls are always mid morning or mid afternoon.