Police issue warning over conmen posing as BT workers

Not a BT Complaint this but a police warning urging the public to be on their guard after conmen netted hundreds of pounds in a telephone scam. The warning follows at least two incidents where the fraudsters posed as British Telecom (BT) workers and called their victims to say their bill payments were overdue.

To “prove” they were from BT, the conmen claimed they would disconnect and then reconnect the telephone line so the homeowner was unable to make outgoing calls. In reality, say the police, they did not hang up the phone but simply pressed the mute button.

Both homeowners then handed over their credit card details and their bank accounts were raided.

Police say at least £600 was taken from a woman in Middleton and £120 from a woman in Rosedale Abbey in four different transactions last week.
The scam has targeted people all over the country.

PC Terry Triffitt, of Ryedale’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, SAID: “British Telecom informed us that they would not cut anyone off using this type of procedure. This case highlights the lengths that criminals will go to invent a highly believable ploy to get you to part with your banking details.

“It is always better to be safe than sorry and a quick call to BT Customer Services will clear up whether or not this type of call is genuine or bogus.”

A spokesman for BT added: “We never ask for bank details over the phone. If anyone does receive a call requesting bank details, they should treat it with suspicion and report it to the police.”

PC Triffitt said members of the public should practice “extreme caution” and not give any bank details or other personal information over the telephone unless they are sure it is a bona fide organisation.

They should also contact and check with the customer service department of the organisation if in doubt.

Anyone who may have been contacted by someone trying to commit this type of fraud is asked to call the BT Nuisance Calls Bureau on 0800 411422, so that the scale of the problem can be identified, and North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 247 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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