A new telephone scam has recently been identified which the BBC has reported is taking place nationally and fooling many people.
People claiming to be British Telecom representatives are cold calling residential numbers and informing occupants that they would be disconnected if an unpaid bill wasn't settled. In one example, a male requested a payment of £31.00 or it would be £118.00 to reconnect at a later date. When the occupant stated he was with Virgin Media, the male stated that Virgin have to pay BT a percentage for line rental.
When challenged by the occupant, the male, who had an African accent, offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. When asked how, the male told the occupant to hang up and try phoning someone, as he would disconnect the phone to prevent this. When the occupant tried this, the phone was seemingly dead, with no engaged tone or anything until the male called back and requested a credit card payment.
The 'disconnection scam' is done very simply. When the occupant hangs up, the male stays on the line with the mute button on, meaning the occupant cannot dial out but the male can hear the occupant trying. This is because the person who initiates a call is the one who needs to terminate it. When the occupant stop trying, the male cuts off and immediately calls back. This simple trick can appear very plausible and could easily convince the vulnerable into giving over bank details.
Everyone to be aware of the above and spread the word to friends and family