Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The TalkTalk Scam!

So this is a slight off piste blog post but one I wanted to write so that anyone based in the UK can warn relatives that may fall foul of this scam.

My Mum is a Talk Talk customer for phone, TV and broadband. Last week she received a call from 'TalkTalk' apologising that they hadn't delivered the level of security they had promised in their initial contract. In order to rectify this they would need to remotely access a laptop in the house and install a security system. And because they had failed to protect her up to now they would also give her a £250 refund. 

It is fair to say my Mum is not tech-savvy (though definitely improving), while very capable of online shopping and emailing she has no interest in 'maintaining security software' or downloading protection - we (read Laura) does that for her. However when 'TalkTalk' her reputable supplier calls and starts talking about security how was she to know that this was a SCAM!

After 2 hours of 'TalkTalk' accessing her laptop remotely they started asking questions such as:
'Do you do online banking'
'Do you do online shopping'
'How do you pay your bills'

It was at this point that alarm bells starting ringing for my Mum - why would TalkTalk care how she used the internet?!

Then when they raised the £250 payment and started asking Mum for bank details to transfer the money from Western Union the alarm bell rang so loud she called us. Thankfully.

Three key things that made us thing this was a scam:
1) Why would TalkTalk, a supplier, need to access a laptop?!
2) Why would they ask questions about online spending?!
3) WESTERN UNION! An untraceable money transfer service!!!!

We got Mum to hang up immediately. We checked the TalkTalk website and there under their 'Beware of Fraud' page was an explanation that TalkTalk would NEVER ask about payment details nor would they EVER ask you for account details to transfer you money. 

Over the course of the evening and next day the SCAM company called my Mum numerous times, they got aggressive - demanding to know why my Mum had hung up and turned her laptop off. They got clever and used a private number - in short they harassed her. So much so that my Mum called the police. Their advice was the same as ours - DO NOT TURN ON THE LAPTOP! 

We are seeing my Mum this weekend and will investigate further and uninstall anything they may have put on the laptop, but please share this as a warning to anyone you may know who might fall for this SCAM. It is awful. My poor Mum went through such a horrible ordeal and we are so glad that she thought to call us. It could have been worse but if we can stop this happening to anyone else then at least some good will have come from it. 

TalkTalk explained that 'we’ve become aware that some limited information we have about some of our customers could have been accessed in violation of our security procedures'. While account details weren't accessed it has become clear that names and phone numbers have been. 

This is from their website:
Every year countless people are targeted by phone scammers and criminal organisations. Sadly this is a growing problem across all sectors. Financial Fraud Action UK estimates that as many as 58% of people have received suspect calls about their banking details. 
Unfortunately TalkTalk and other telecommunications companies are not immune. With scams of all kinds on the rise, it is so important for us all to remain aware and alert, especially when asked for personal banking details or to remote access your computer. We continually improve the advice we offer customers about how they can protect themselves from criminal phone scammers, as well as other fraud such as phishing emails.  If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of a caller, please hang up and go to our website to get our correct contact details.
  • TalkTalk will NEVER call customers and use an account number to identify you or prove that the call is genuine 
  • TalkTalk will NEVER call you and ask you to provide bank details unless we have had specific permission from you to do so (for example, so you can pay your bill.)
  • TalkTalk will NEVER call you and ask you to download software onto your PC unless you have previously contacted us, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place.
  • TalkTalk will NEVER send you emails asking you to provide your full password. We'll only ever ask for two digits from it to protect your security.
  • 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. Unless we have your explicit permission in advance to do so, we will never call you and ask you to download software onto your PC or take over your computer in order to fix a problem. Never 'check your account balance' while a third party has remote access to your computer.
  • If you have any concerns or have been affected by this issue and would like to speak to us please call us free on the number below.
    You can call us on 0800 083 2710  or 0141 230 0707 (mobile friendly)
Please make sure this doesn't happen to anyone you know.

1 comment:

  1. My mums boyfriend has had his laptop hacked twice by these people on 2 different laptops one they couldn't start at all and the other they've managed to recover but its very easy how people can fall for these thing!!


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