A 'genuine' phone scam or another urban myth?

  SparkyJack 16:37 02 Nov 2011

What do you all think? Ths came tyo my In box forwardedrom one of the flock - A Real threat or another urban myth?

As recieved

I received a call from a 'representative' of BT, informing me that he was disconnecting me because of an unpaid bill. He demanded payment immediately of £31.00 or it would be £118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn't even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental! I asked the guy's name - he gave me the very 'English' John Peacock with a very 'African' accent - & phone number - 0800 0800 152. Obviously the fellow realised I didn't believe his story, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he told me to hang up & try phoning someone - he would dis-connect my phone to prevent this. AND HE DID !! My phone was dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until he phoned me again.

Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made and he said credit card, there and then. I said that I didn't know how he'd done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, I didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT.

He hung up.

I dialed 1471 - number withheld

I phoned his fictitious 0800 number - not recognised., so I phoned the police to let them know. I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently, but it is escalating.

Their advice was to let as many people as possible know of this scam. The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it's real, so please make as many friends & family aware of this. How is it done? This is good but not that clever.. He gave the wrong number - it should have been 0800 800 152 which takes you through to BT Business.

The cutting off of the line is very simple, he stays on the line with the mute button on and you can't dial out - but he can hear you trying (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back. You could almost be convinced! The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool the elderly and vulnerable.

By the way this is not about getting the cash as this would not get past merchant services - it is all about getting the credit card details which include the security number so that it can be used for far larger purchases.


Police Community Support Officer

  wiz-king 16:59 02 Nov 2011

Your line can be 'held' just by him not hanging up - this will make your phone unable to dial a number.

  Belatucadrus 17:00 02 Nov 2011

We had a similar one sent to our neighbourhood watch coordinator by our local community support officer & my mother has received one of these calls so I'd count it as a genuine threat, yet another scum-bag after your credit card details.

  Forum Editor 18:06 02 Nov 2011

This has been going on for a while,and you're right, it will certainly catch some people, although I imagine that most people are aware that their line can be blocked for outbound dialling in this way.

Thank for the heads up.

  mark2 20:02 02 Nov 2011

A genuine threat.

I received a similar call at work a few weeks back, the caller spoke with an excellent English accent claiming the company owed a small amount, she threatened to cut us off in the next 30 minutes if the money "owed" was not paid.

They continued to argue the toss even after being told we pay by direct debit and our latest bill in front of me showed us in credit !

They only gave up after being "forcefully" told that no credit or debit card information would be forthcoming.

It was a quiet day at work so I did have the time to listen to their spiel. As my boss is actually an ex BT employee and having listened to some of his stories I was aware BT never cut off without a number of warning letters beforehand.

  Crosstrainer2 21:45 02 Nov 2011

What concerns me most about this type of scam, is that the elderly are frequently the ones who suffer most. They are more likely to be taken in, and I'm glad this has been posted.

I will bring it to the attention of elderly friends who are not as tech-saavy as many of us.

  Brumas 22:28 02 Nov 2011

Crosstrainer2, "I will bring it to the attention of elderly friends who are not as tech-saavy as many of us". Describes me to a tee ;o}

  Crosstrainer2 22:30 02 Nov 2011


I don't think you would be taken in! but you can see how it could happen.....Probably to those who would panic at the thought of their telephone service was about to be cut off....A service that is essential for the housebound and disabled.

Forewarned is forearmed!

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