Police are warning Eastbourne residents to be cautious of cold callers pretending to be from BT.
The force has received reports of fraudulent BT calls telling householders that their IP address has been hacked and accounts need to be urgently updated with new security software and passwords. However, the services offered are placing personal bank information in the hands of criminals.
Police Constable Ed Faulkner said, “In the last few days we have had reports from two residents on the Harbour that they have been contacted via their landline from someone claiming to be from BT, stating that their computer has been hacked and they need to urgently follow their instructions to prevent them being hacked further. This is a scam.
“BT do not provide this service, and they would not be calling people asking them to log into certain websites including banks. The recent scams have asked residents to install a special program onto your computer which allows them to view what you are seeing on your screen. BT do not do this.
“If you receive a call the best thing you can do is hang up immediately. Do not install any programmes onto your computer, tablet or phone, and do not provide any passwords or bank details to them.
“If in doubt you can call BT direct to query whether it is them that has called, but please call their general enquiries number of 0800 800 150. Do not call the number that the potential scammer gives you. Or alternatively call us on 101 and we will happily provide advice.
“Scams are becoming more sophisticated, and scammers are increasingly using fear as a tool to get money from you. Genuine companies are always willing to wait while you confirm they are who they say they are.”
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud or an attempt at fraud, call Sussex Police on 101 or visit www.sussex.police.uk.
If you need to a report fraud or attempted fraud, you can do so by contacting Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Further information is available on the Operation Signature webpage here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/fraud/operation-signature/