Scams bulletin 13

A simple warning this week about the various telephone scams that are doing the rounds.

Please be aware that there are some telephone scams in circulation which you may receive on your work or home telephone.

Some of these scams may be an automated voice or an actual person.

Examples of the types of scams to be aware of are:

Computer Repair Scams: This is an old but common type of scam where the caller claims to be calling from Microsoft or a telephone supplier i.e. Virgin Media, BT. They tell you that you your computer has a virus or corrupt files and may try to trick you to allowing them to remotely connect to your computer to ‘fix the problem’ or ask you download a file or click on a link. You may have to pay a fee or provide your personal details. The software download could be spyware or malware which can be used to steal your data and encrypt your files.

Amazon: Someone from Amazon calls claiming you have been charged for an annual subscription or made a large purchase. You may have been told that fraudsters have hacked into your account to authorise payment. They may encourage you to press a key on your phone and provide your bank details to undo the purchase.

HMRC: You get a call or a voicemail claiming to be someone from HMRC. They usually say there is an issue with your tax refund or unpaid tax bill.

Bank Scam: Someone calls claiming to be from your bank saying there is a problem with your account or bank card. They may ask you for your bank details.

Silent Calls: You answer the telephone and there is no-one there. In most cases these are caused by automated telemarketing services which use broadcast dialling to dial multiple numbers at once and can be quite annoying. It may also be fraudsters checking to see if it is a legitimate telephone number then use this data to sell the information on for other scams.

Legitimate companies would never contact you in this way nor would they request your banking and personal information or try to remotely connect to your PC, therefore do not fall for their tricks no matter how convincing they may seem.

What you need to do:

  1. Hang up! Do not engage in the conversation.
  2. Never share your bank details over the telephone or divulge your personal information.
  3. Do not call back the number, they are usually part of the scam and premium rate numbers. It also shows you are susceptible to their tricks and will try to trick you again.
  4. If you think you have given out personal details by mistake or fallen victim to a scam, contact your supplier and bank provider as soon as possible. You can also log a support call on the Solution Centre for advice and guidance.
  5. If you are receiving unwanted marketing telephone calls, you can also register your telephone number with the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of dialling lists.

Additional Tips:

  1. Always keep your computer software and anti-virus up to date, regularly run a virus scan
  2. Regularly check your bank statements for anomalies
  3. Never share your passwords or security PIN’s
  4. Navigate directly to the provider or bank website  – don’t use the link provided in the scam
  5. Don’t re-dial numbers provided in the scam – check first from a genuine source to make sure it is legitimate
  6. Where possible use Caller Identification to help you recognise calls before you answer – this is useful if you keep receiving lots of unwanted calls.

For more information about this and other helpful advice to keep you safe on line, visit

Remember – Think before you click!

More next week. Join us on the Network Discussion site to continue the conversations.

Karl Elliott,
Development Manager, VANEL
and development support for NEL Watch