A new report claims that customers of BT’s broadband and phone services are being targeted by fraudsters based in India. The criminals will often call and pretend to act as official customer support agents in order to hijack your PC / steal money, although this crime is by no means unique to BT.
According to The Register and a long running thread on BT’s community forum, many of the calls will follow the now all too familiar tactic of claiming that a customer has Malware (malicious software) on their computer. After that the individual is frequently asked to install some third-party software or make a change on their computer in order to tackle the problem via remote access, which is an obvious sign of the scam (i.e. they’re hijacking your computer).
In many of these cases the scam caller will appear to be calling from a UK area code and they often demonstrate knowledge of your personal details (e.g. name, phone number and address). However this does not mean that BT itself has been hacked because such details are can easily be scraped from public sources. Not to mention the huge amount of personal info. that has been stolen via unrelated hacks over the past few years.
The fraudulent callers will be aware that BT are the biggest broadband provider and thus sometimes they’ll just guess that you might be using them for your sercice (hence people on non-BT providers also receiving calls claiming that their BT services have a problem etc.).
Most ISPs will never ask subscribers for personal information out of the blue and they’ll always call from a known number. Likewise they usually won’t try to make you panic about a serious problem that doesn’t actually exist. The best course of action is to put the phone down, wait a few minutes and then call your provider directly on an official number in order to report the incident.
The largest providers are also implementing some increasingly sophisticated nuisance call blocking services, which are helping to tackle such problems. But these work best when people report dodgy numbers to the provider.
For further advice and updates on fraud and cyber crime, please visit the Action Fraud web site.
If you are worried about your internet security, or think your computer may have been compromised, please contact Caversham Computers who can arrange a visit to assist you.