Poet on a Hill

Monday, 9 January 2012

Marks & BT

I was in Marks & Spencer today. They’ve got a notice up now, telling you, step by step, “How to Use the Escalator.” One instruction says, “Face the way you are going.”

They must get some right numpties in there.

AW

This tale is in the first person, but it is not my story. I’m just passing it on for information. Because I’ve come across similar things myself.

My Mate’s story is this:-

“I received a phone call from a guy who said he was a, 'Representative of BT,’ informing me that he was dis-connecting my phone because of an unpaid bill. He demanded a payment of, ‘£31.00, immediately! Or it will be £118.00 to re-connect you at a later date.’

This guy wasn't even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media.
He just said that VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

I asked him what his name was. He gave me the very English, ‘John Peacock’ – in a very African accent. He then told me that his phone number was, ‘0800 0800 152.’

Obviously, the fellow realized that I didn't believe his story, so he offered to prove that he was from BT. I asked, ‘How?’ So he told me to hang up and then try to phone a friend. He said that he would dis-connect my phone to prevent me dialling out. AND HE DID!

My phone was dead; no engaged tone; nothing; until he phoned me back again. Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was from BT.

I asked how he wanted me to make the payment. He said, ‘Credit Card, immediately! Or I will have to cut you off again and charge you £118.00 for a reconnection.’ I told him that I had no intention of paying him. I didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT.

He hung up.

Then I dialled 1471, to withhold my number, before phoning his 0800 number. His number was, ‘Not recognized.’


Then I phoned the police to let them know what had happened. They said, I wasn't the first! It's a new scam that has just started and, ‘It is escalating.’

The police’ advice is to let as many people as possible know about the scam. The fact that that this guy appears to cut your phone off will probably convince some people that he’s genuine.


Don’t fall for it.

So, how does he do it?

Well, it’s not all that clever really. The guy gives the wrong number. It should be 0800 800 152, not 0800 0800… The correct number puts you through to BT Business.

His method of cutting off your line is very simple. He stays on the line with his mute button on. That means that you can’t dial out. But he can hear you trying to dial out. (This is because the person who initiates the call is the one to terminate it).


When you stop trying to dial out, he cuts off, and then immediately calls you back. All this might convince some people.


But the big point is this: This scam is not about getting the cash off you. Because it would not get past Merchant Services anyway. No – it is all about getting your credit card details, including the security number on the back. After that, the card can be used for much bigger purchases.”


Like I say, folk; it’s not my story: just thought I’d pass it on.

By the way, I came across another telephone scam today. I’ll tell you about it when I get a bit more time. Byee