/ Technology

Scam watch: terrified by abusive cold call

We were contacted when a person was left shaken by an attempted number-spoofing scam. The ordeal didn’t end with the abusive call – here’s what happened.

A cold calling victim told us they received a call from someone purporting to be from Microsoft. We suspect that they wanted remote access to their computer and bank accounts.

The caller made sexually abusive remarks and then correctly recited the victim’s home address.

Terrified, they put the phone down, but the ordeal wasn’t over.

The victim was then deluged with calls from different UK landline numbers, which they were too scared to answer. Eventually they stopped, but later that evening a call was received from a different man.

He said he’d received the same scam ‘Microsoft’ call, but it appeared to have come from the victim’s own number, and he was simply returning the call!

Another case of number-spoofing

This was a ‘number-spoofing’ scam, where a fraudster’s call displays under a fake number to avoid being traced.

In this case, the fraudster spoofed the number in turn to dupe others. When the police were contacted, they advised the victim to contact their landline provider, BT.

BT said it couldn’t do anything except change the member’s number, which was not wanted. BT told us that it proactively warns its customers about scams, adding:

“We’ll never call a customer to ask for remote access to their computer or ask for personal information, including bank details, unexpectedly, and we’ll never call from an ‘unknown’ number.’ It advises customers never to share their BT account number and to shred paper bills”

The ‘Microsoft’ phone scam is also known to us. Here we explain how it works, how you can avoid it, and what to do if you believe you have been scammed.

Our full guide on phone scams is also full of valuable information on how you can indentify these cold calls and report them.

Have you been on the end of an abusive scam call? Where did the fraudsters say they were calling from?

Comments
Mike Munroe says:
15 July 2019

This article proves two things:
“When the police were contacted, they advised the victim to contact their landline provider, BT.” to which BT replied “BT said it couldn’t do anything”. Conclusion – either the police and/or BT don’t know what they are talking about.
Secondly, the quote from BT “We’ll never call a customer to ask for remote access to their computer or ask for personal information, including bank details……” – ummh, who claimed anywhere that BT were asking for access or account details? Conclusion – BT don’t listen to the question, and hence the customer.
What chance have we got?

Paula says:
16 July 2019

I purchased a BT Call Blocker phone last Autumn and it’s the best purchase ever. No scam calls for months as when unknown callers are asked to announce themselves the scammers hang up and I’m not disturbed. I switched the call blocking off a few weeks ago as I was expecting calls from a hospital regarding various tests and was afraid I would miss a call as they often withhold their number. To my surprise I have not had one scam call during that time. The £80 it cost was a great investment.

Linda says:
17 July 2019

its best to protect your phone from scammers by putting a security device on it it works for us.