/ 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
John McColl says:
3 October 2017

I have been called regularly by “BT Technical Support”. I have found the best way to deal with them is to ask them to quote my BT Customer Number (to be found on the top right-hand corner of any bill.). Do not give this number to anyone who calls – if they are BT they should be able to quote it to you. This quickly ends the call.

Guest
M.James says:
15 October 2017

I just say to anyone calling ‘You can’t prove who you say you are and tat any information provided has probably been stolen”. This usually terminates illegitimate conversations quickly.

If they are legitimate, as per a real call from Capital One, then they advised me to go away, find a bank statement from them, and then phone their number provided on the bank statement.

Guest
Andy Wernham says:
17 October 2017

You should always phone a friend (or your own mobile) before calling the bank back. This makes sure that the line has been cleared. Otherwise scammers can keep the line open after you’ve put the phone down, which means you’re really just calling them again.

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Guest

Andy-BT got wise to this after many complaints and cut down the cut-off period.

Guest
Greg says:
3 October 2017

Just had a new one purporting to be BT offering a free ‘nuisance call’ service. New one to me

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Guest
Guest
John Wells says:
6 October 2017

I’ve just been called by someone perporting to be BT Technical services. They said there were many errors on my wi fi connection.

Guest
Emma says:
10 October 2017

I just received one of these calls whilst off sick from work (not a fun thing to be woken up by I can tell you) but successfully managed to get the caller to hang up on me as I was just Googling everything he was telling me to do and confirming that it was a scam. He hung up on me with the parting shot of, ‘we think it would just be easier to disconnect your internet.’ I’m sure they can try 😛

Guest
Trevor Bond says:
11 October 2017

I was staying at my parent’s house last night and this morning got a phone call from BT support. They told me to run event viewer and said “wow, let me put you over to our technical manager” when I told them I had got over 5000 error messages. He tried to get me to install TeamViewer.

They have attempted to do this to my father before and at that time they took several hundred pounds. I was able to log into his computer and see what they were doing, they were running tree which lists all the files on your computer but highlights them in red. They ran this over and over again so my Dad thought that something was very wrong with his PC.

This time I recorded the call and asked them several times whether they were from BT, British Telecom, and each time they said yes.

The technical manager I spoke to gave his name as P**** R***** and employee id of *******

I asked for a phone number in case we were disconnected and he gave me **** *** ****. I immediately called this number and it did seem to be the genuine number for them.

I spoke with BT and they confirmed that they had not called him.

I have reported this to BT and action fraud but I get the impression they are really not interested.

Since they gave me their phone number and this works then surely someone could at least phone them and get them to confirm that they are claiming to be BT technical support.

I hate these people who prey on the elderly and those who do not know better. The police and BT seem to have no interest in addressing it and that, for me, is even worse.

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Guest

Trevor if they got money the first time from your father you need to check whether they have already installed files on Team Viewer hidden in your Windows programming . If you need help I will list all the data which must be removed from Windows .

Guest
Karen says:
11 October 2017

Only had a new line popped in 3 weeks ago and already had my 2nd ‘BT technical support’ call grrrr. They didn’t block their number this time … 07506 853989. Even had an email saying I owed £350…called BT and they confirmed the email wasn’t them.

Guest

I’ve had three calls today alone! The thing is, I’m not even with BT!

Guest
Hayley says:
12 October 2017

I received two phone calls this afternoon, one from a woman and one from a man, both claiming to be from BT technical support saying there are problems with my wifi and my computers etc are being put at risk. I didn’t say a word and just hung up both times!

Guest
bishbut says:
13 October 2017

If more people just hung up not say a word like you did the scammers wold give up but most people listen carefully to all that is said and try to reply CUT THE SCAMMERS OFF IMMEDIATELY you are not offending anyone by doing it they offended you by calling you

Guest
Isabel Staniard says:
14 October 2017

My partner has just had a call from this number 02034565467 claiming they were ‘bt wifi support’. Lady stated that my pc was infected with viruses. He told her I wasn’t home. So she is going to phone me back. This should be fun.

Guest
JeniM says:
16 October 2017

Like everyone else we have had numerous calls from people purporting to be from BT – we aren’t customers with BT anyway so it is obviously a scam. I used to tell them I was sorry their only choice of employment was that with people who were scammers, got bored with that so now I just put the phone down straight away. Sadly this does not discourage them – I had 6 such calls in one day last week. Sadly I have a relationin hospital, very seriously ill at the moment so I jump every timethe phone rings and feel Ihave to answer it rather than let it go to answerphone.

Guest
Jim musson says:
16 October 2017

Had a call last week I let them say their bit and then I replied saying it was a scam they were probably calling from Australia I told the person to stop being a criminal and go out and get a proper job, they hung up on me. WAISTERS

Guest
Eddy says:
16 October 2017

I was called today by someone from “BT technical support” (Indian call centre). They said they would be shutting down my phone and internet for 3 weeks as there had been international hacking on my broadband. They asked me to go onto my computer so I asked them to authenticate themselves as BT. They confirmed my address and the account name. I asked them to confirm my account number. They said only customer service could do that. They offered to escalate the call to the technician and he in turn said that if I didn’t consent to works I would be liable for any damages, and not BT. He also couldn’t confirm my account number and tried to deflect my questions with “you wouldn’t understand the technical data madame” to which I replied “…and BT would not allow an employee to speak speak to a customer like that. Get Customer Service to call me if you want me to authorise something.” I hung up, went on line and sure enough it is a scam.

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Guest

I used to receive similar calls from Indian sounding persons both male and female attempting to gain access to my computer on a regular basis by saying there was a problem with my computer which they could fix, so I phoned BT to lodge a complaint.

They started after my email address mysteriously changed from (.com to .co.uk) which I suspected had something to do with it. The guy I spoke to was very helpful and advised me to change my BT password on my computer which I did straight away. I am not sure whether BT were able to block them on my ‘phone but thankfully the calls have now stopped. I found it much more difficult to restore my email address back to normal but eventually managed it with a little help from my brother over the ‘phone.

Guest
Tony says:
17 October 2017

I was called this morning, sounded very plausible, but being a suspicious guy I terminated the call – his name was supposedly David Wilson from BT technical Support.
The number that 1471 gave me did not exist – it was 02094538924

Guest
Pete says:
17 October 2017

Just hang up if it’s an unsolicited call which you suspect (but wait a few minutes before using the phone again), and delete any emails immediately (without opening) where you do not the sender or it is a possible scam.

Guest
LPalmeri says:
17 October 2017

I received a call from someone pretending to be calling from BT Technical Support informing me that my account had been compromised and he needed to gain remote access. He was quite persistent which alerted me to the fact that it could be a scam.
So I told him I was in a rush and would call BT back to confirm the problem at this point he hung up.

Guest
Trevor Bond says:
Today 01:29

I honestly don’t know why we are discussing this at all. No-one has any interest in pursuing these companies. I have contacted BT, action fraud etc and they have no interest in stopping it. I gave them a phone number for the company which I verified as being correct. Trading standards have no interest …

I offered them a recording of the call but no interest. Why bother …