Microsoft and now BT scam phone calls

  chub_tor 09:59 18 Feb 2016
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Answered

Over the past few days I have received scam phone calls from India purporting to be from BT telling me that they have noticed multiple errors on my PC, it's just like the "old" Microsoft service scam but this time using BT.

As it happens I am a BT Broadband customer and I would love to get a genuine phone call from them offering to improve my service but I know that this is not going to happen.

With my firs caller I was quite curt and kept asking him to give me my customer number until he hung up. The second caller yesterday was a female and I managed to keep her on the line for 23 minutes by stringing her along talking about the problems of living on Dartmoor, having overhead lines, snow, being close to the exchange and asking when BT are going to install fibre to the box a the top of our road. In the end she too gave up.

So the question is has anyone else had hoax BT calls or is it confined to our area?

  RV510 14:54 18 Feb 2016

It's that time of year when these phishers call you, I've been getting the same calls and others offering cheaper call rates and line rental, how they can do so without having a clue as to your provider and what you're actually paying beats me, they 'assume' you're with BT. I know exactly what the situation is on Dartmoor regarding the broadband situation, or the lack of it and as for BT maintaining the lines, well, that's another joke! They were going to erect another mast on the Princetown side so that broadband would be available to the East of the town and beyond Huccaby and the Warren Inn but, alas, that idea has been scrapped, why they don't use the existing mast just behind the prison at North Hessery Tor I don't know, perhaps they can't afford to rent antenna space. I'm not with BT but here where I am we've been trying to get BT to put in a new line that serve 7 properties for the past 7 years, all the engineers say that the line is so badly worn out that they are surprised we have any service at all! For those calls offering you cheap line and calls, tell them you don't have a phone, that confuses them. For those 'Microsoft' scam calls, pretend that you are doing what they say and when they say they cant see your computer tell them you don't have one. Make a note of the number these people are calling from by dialling 1471 that's if it's not a withheld number, and got the 'who called me' web sites and type the number in the search box, you'll then see what others say about them. Another point is that some calls when you answer are either silent or they hang up when you answer, no matter how curious you are do not call the number back as these are very high priced premium rate numbers and are charged by the second, someone I know rang one back, the other end was 'thank you for calling, goodbye' and that cost £50.

  Forum Editor 16:41 18 Feb 2016

"I managed to keep her on the line for 23 minutes by stringing her along."

Why on earth would you want to do that? I can never understand it when people seem to think it's a good idea to keep a scammer talking for ages - it just wastes your own time.

The best response is to just to say nothing, put the phone down, and get on with something more important.

  Forum Editor 16:50 18 Feb 2016

RV510

"...these are very high priced premium rate numbers and are charged by the second, someone I know rang one back, the other end was 'thank you for calling, goodbye' and that cost £50".

Do you know who charged that amount?

Over the years there have been all kinds of hoaxes over the premium rate call charge - people have alleged that you can be charged huge amounts for making calls to various numbers, but none of the stories have - so far - been true.

In the UK, the highest premium rate charge is currently £3.71 a minute. Calls are not billed by the second.

I would be interested to know more about this alleged £50 call charge.

  chub_tor 18:04 18 Feb 2016

Forum Editor Keeping them talking was a new technique for me. I had nothing better to do at the time and for me it was a bit of light relief. In the past I have tried the "put the phone down, and get on with something more important," I have also tried reasoning with them and asking why they are scamming people, so this time I tried something different in the hope that, by tying up their line for so long and therefore wasting their time - something I am sure they do not want - that my number would be blacklisted.

But I was more interested if other forum members had received similar calls pretending to be BT as this was a new one for me. As it happens I do have BT phone and broadband and I would like to know if this latest round of fake phone calls is limited to just BT customers - which would indicate that they are targeting those - or if the same calls are also going to Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk customers etc.

  Forum Editor 18:57 18 Feb 2016
Answer

"...for me it was a bit of light relief"

Right, now I understand.

To be honest, this is the first I've heard of calls specifically aimed at BT customers. As you say, an assumption is made by the caller, and it probably gets a reasonable high hit rate - lots of people are BT broadband customers - there are just under 8 million, far more than any of the other big providers.

  morddwyd 20:00 18 Feb 2016

I don't think it's new. I must say I'm pretty sure I've had these BT scams in the past, some years ago, though I wouldn't swear to it.

I cab remember asking the guy if he was from BT , as he claimed, why was he enquiring whether BT was my broad band provider.

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