Wednesday, 19 October 2011


This is a scam that is believed to have been passed on by the Police regarding a call people have reported receiving form someone claiming to be a 'representative' of British Telecom, informing them that because of an unpaid bill they must make an immediate credit card payment of £31.00 to avoud a reconnection charge later of £118,00. The scam caller doesn't flinch when people have told him they are not with BT, and merely claims that other companies have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

When one person asked the guy's name - he gave the very 'English' John Peacock with a very 'African' and a the a rogue phone number SIMILAR to the genuine BT Business freephone number.
Obviously the fellow realized his story wasn't being believe, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. He was asked how? The call recipient was told to hang up & try phoning someone - and he would disconnect their phone to prevent this. AND HE DID !!

The phone was dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until the caller phoned again. Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. The unsuspecting person asked how the payment was to be made and he said credit card, there and then.

The person that was called said that he didn't know how he'd done it, but had absolutely no intention of paying him, because he didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT. Not surprisingly, the caller hung up. The person who had received the call dialled 1471 - number withheld, so then phoned his fictitious 0800 number - this was not recognized; so he next called the police to let them know. I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently, but it is escalating.

The police advice was to let as many people as possible know of this scam. The fact that the phone does become disconnected may probably convince some people that the caller is genuine but it's not.

This is how it is done: This is good but not that clever. The caller gave the wrong number - the genuine number to get through to BT Busines is 0800 800 152 (but the scammer added another '0' before the second '800'). The process of 'cutting off' the line is very simple. The caller stays on the line but presses the mute button on his phone which prevents you from dialling out - but the scammer can still hear you trying (because the person who initiates a call is the one that needs to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls you back. You could almost be convinced!

The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool the elderly and vulnerable and the BT claim is being used - not to get the cash from you - but to obtain your credit card details and security number so that it can be used to make larger purchases.

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