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Friday 13 February 2009

New Scam Warning

Please be aware of the following that was forwarded to me by a colleague regarding a possible BT phone scam. I am not aware of any occurring locally but it is something to bear in mind.

A man phones claiming to be calling from BT. He alleges that £20 - £30 is overdue for payment. When challenged by a statement that payment by standing order is in force, he replies that the standing order was not renewed properly. He goes on to state that, if the outstanding debt is not cleared immediately, the telephone line will be disconnected and that a reconnection charge of £75 will become payable. When challenged as to whether he really is calling from BT, he replies by asking that the telephone receiver be placed back in its cradle and picked up again after 10 seconds when the dialling tone will have disappeared. He states that removal of the dialling tone can only be performed by a BT centre.

In following this instruction the dialling tone certainly disappears - presumably because the person operating the scam has not disconnected at his end. On replacing the telephone receiver on its cradle, the man phones again to take debit card details to settle "the debt".

I have to confess that I fell for this scam - but, fortunately, my wife prompted me to phone BT who told me that there was nothing wrong with my account. I subsequently phoned the bank and had the transaction stopped and the debit card cancelled.

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