Police have revealed an Eastbourne woman lost nearly £6,000 in the phone scam plaguing the town where cold callers pretend to be from BT.
Officers have 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 would place personal bank information in the hands of criminals.
PC Ed Faulkner said, “In the last few days we have had reports from two residents at Sovereign 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.
“One of the residents, a woman in her seventies, spent some time on the phone with the scammers and lost £5,800. Thankfully her bank stopped a further payment of £4,100. She has had to change all her bank information.
“The other resident, a man in his seventies, put the phone down realising it was a scam, and confirmed it with BT.
“We have also had a call today [Monday, December 5] from another resident elsewhere in Eastbourne reporting just such an attempt, which was unsuccessful.
“The scammers ask residents to install a special program on their computer which allegedly allows them to view what you are seeing on your screen. BT do not do this. If you receive such a call the best thing you can do is hang up immediately. Do not install any programs on to 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.”
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