Phone Scam Warning

We have received a warning which we have been asked to pass onto you regarding a new phone scam which has recently started.

Our colleague received a call from a ‘representative’ of BT, informing them that they were disconnecting their phone because of an unpaid bill. The caller demanded payment immediately of £31.00 or warned it would cost £118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The caller wasn’t fazed when our colleague told them they used a completely different phone network to BT in Virgin Media, and alleged VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

When asked to prove their identity the caller gave an obviously false name and the telephone number – 0800 0800 152.

When the caller realized our colleague didn’t believe the story, they offered to demonstrate they were from BT.

The caller said he would prove that he could temporarily disconnect the phone. AND THEY DID !!

Our colleague’s phone was dead – no engaged tone, nothing – until the caller rang again.

They asked if that was enough proof that they worked for BT. Our colleague asked how the payment was to be made and was told credit card, there and then.

Our colleague said that I didn’t know how he’d done it, but had absolutely no intention of paying.

The caller hung up.

  • Our colleague called 1471 – to be told the call had come from a withheld number
  • He then phoned the 0800 number given by the caller which was not recognized.
  • His next call was to the police. Their advice was to let as many people as possible know of this scam.

The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it’s real, so please make as many friends & family aware of this.

How is it done?

This is good but not that clever. The caller gave the wrong number – it should have been 0800 800 152 which takes you through to BT Business.

The cutting off of the line is very simple, the caller stays on the line with the mute button on and you can’t dial out – but he can hear you trying (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back.

The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool the elderly and vulnerable.

By the way this is not about getting the cash as this would not get past merchant services – it is all about getting the credit card details which include the security number so that it can be used for far larger purchases.

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Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EW
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020 7708 4497

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Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).

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