I received a phone call from someone at BT informing me that he was
disconnecting my phone 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 wasnít 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 guyís name - he
gave me the very ĎEnglishí John Peacock with a very ĎAfricaní accent and
phone number - 0800 0800 152. Obviously, the fellow realised I didnít
believe his story, so he offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked
how and he told me to hang up and try phoning someone and that he would
disconnect my phone to prevent this. AND HE DID!! My phone was dead -
no dial 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
didnít know how heíd done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, I
didnít believe his name or that he worked for BT. He hung up. I dialled 1471
and found that his number was withheld. I then phoned his fictitious 0800
number which was not recognised. So I phoned the police to let them know. I
wasnít the first! Itís 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 seems to go dead would probably convince some people itís
real, so please make as many friends and 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 canít 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 hangs up and immediately calls back. You could almost be
convinced! The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool many.
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 which will be used for larger purchases.
Since obtaining a BT 8600 Call Blocker phone last April, we have not
received one single scam attempt or marketing call. Our phoneís silence is
golden. On another note, Bexley Council has warned of a new council tax
scam which targets people by email claiming they are owed a refund; once
again, the intention is to get your bank details. Give them to no-one else on
Showcase in June
Reminder to group leaders that the June meeting is a Showcase where you
set out your stall to show us all what you do. These have been hugely
interesting in the past. I donít think we need a specific planning meeting, but
can you please be thinking about your arrangements, and discussing it with
your members. In May, I shall be asking for your requirements: tables, power
points, etc. Hoping, as always for your continued support. Good Luck.
Trevor Ford, Group Coordinator