Scams latest: BT fake fraud alert calls and phoney Trading Standards hotline

Beware this message currently being left on landline answerphones. A loud, authoritarian voice warns the listener they are the victim of BT malware and fraud, and should press call back to get help. Clearly a con, but perhaps not so obvious to someone feeling the stresses of social isolation. 

The number has 01206 Essex code. Crusader has traced it and the last online reference links it to business directory listing a plumbing business which has no knowledge of it. 

After Crusader informed BT it said: “We take the security of our customers’ accounts very seriously and proactively warn them to be on their guard against scams.

“We’ll never call a customer to ask for remote access to their computer or ask for personal information, including bank details unexpectedly and we’ll never call from an ‘unknown’ number. 

“If a customer is suspicious, or uncomfortable about what’s being asked, we always recommend that they hang up the phone, and call the customer service number of the company that is supposedly calling. 

“Our advice is that customers should never share their BT account number with anyone and always shred bills. Be wary of calls or emails that are not expected.”

++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost on ++;

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) alerting the public to bogus websites claiming to be a “Trading Standards Call Connection Service”.

CTSI has received evidence of a fake website which sends callers to a premium rate number which the site claims charges £1.55/ minute plus access charges. The phoney website lists the address of CTSI, giving the impression that it is officially endorsed by it.

CTSI chief executive, Leon Livermore, said: “CTSI does not offer a consumer helpline service. Citizens Advice manages the UK’s consumer support service through the Consumer Helpline, which is free of charge.

“It sickens me that unscrupulous individuals are attempting to profit from the good name of CTSI and Trading Standards with a fake hotline.

“The unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the general public increasingly vulnerable, and I urge everyone to be aware of potential scams on the internet, through the phone and on the doorstep.”

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