A member of staff at HQ who unfortunately was also a victim has made me aware of a phone scam which I would like to bring to your attention. Around February this year various ISP’s (internet service providers) were hacked and millions of customer details was stolen, as you would expect, the theft was followed up with a scam to try and extract money from those customers. A call would be made by someone impersonating a technician from your ISP; they can seem very convincing as the stolen information includes details which should only be known by your service provider, names and addresses, dates of birth and bank details.
The scam has now resurfaced and can take various guises, for example, they may inform you your router either needs updating, replacing or isn’t working correctly. You are then directed to a website to download a program which will allow them to solve the issue remotely. Once the program is installed, they now have access to either lock your device and ask you for payment before it will be unlocked and or scan your device for personal details to be used for identity fraud.
Here is some additional advice one of the hacked ISP’s have put on their website:-
“Our advice on avoiding scams:
Bank details: if you have received a call and been asked for your bank details, this is likely to be a scam. If you are ever unsure, hang up and call the company back on their official number.
Dialling correct numbers: when calling ensure you get the number from a trusted source - such as the official website or your latest bill or statement. If you get a call that feels suspicious, hang up and call back on the official number. You should always ensure the fraudster has hung up before you dial as sometimes they keep the line open to try to trick you. If you are in any doubt you should phone a friend or a trusted number first to make sure it goes through correctly.
Premium rate numbers: any messages asking you to make expensive phone calls – premium rate numbers start with 090 – especially when it comes to ‘prizes’ or ‘offers’, are most likely a scam.
Persuasive sellers: anyone that’s rushing you into a service or product and wants to take your bank details could quite easily be scamming you. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured or bullied.
Scam technical support: more scammers are calling people trying to gain remote access to their computer so they can gain access to personal information. You shouldn't be asked to pay for viruses to be cleared from your computer or to fix any issues over the phone. If you are, don’t give them any details and hang up.
Scam website: scammers may direct you to a website that looks like it could be an official site. Make sure you are definitely on the right website and not on a scammer site. Scam websites will often have poor quality of logos and general design. If you are in any doubt then leave the website.
Refunds: Scammers may try and get personal information by telling you that you are due a refund. If in doubt you should hang up and call the company yourself.”
The above internet scam has been confirmed by police, BT, Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk are known to have had a data breach. This is by no means an extensive list, we have had an attempted scam call made to HQ this week! I would advise using caution whoever your service provider is and be alert to any scam calls you may receive at work.
Source: CWU LTB609/15