Customers of the incumbent telecoms operator for Hull and East Yorkshire in England, KC (KCOM), have been advised to be on their guard after a number of subscribers reported receiving calls from fraudsters who attempted to trick them into revealing their credit card or other vital personal details.
According to KC, the scammer first claims to work for the telecoms operator (obviously they don’t) and then attempts to sell the customer a call blocking service. KC does actually offer a call blocking solution, but it’s apparently not sold to customers in this way. Sadly most ISPs will at some time or another be targeted by fraudsters in this way.
KC also highlights a number of other examples, including one where customers are warned that their phone will be disconnected unless they make an immediate credit card payment. Another scam involved a fake support agent calling to say that the customer’s PC had been infected with a virus and then requesting remote access to fix the problem, which they later use to install spyware or ransomware.
Sue Helmont, KC’s Director of Consumer Services, said:
“Although we do offer a call blocking service, we haven’t been calling customers about it and never ask for a customer’s credit card details over the phone. If a customer wishes to make a credit card or debit card payment to KC, we will always refer them to our secure, automated payment line.
While many customers reporting these scams to us have realised something’s not quite right and have ended the call, we are aware of some who have been taken in by what can be very convincing calls by experienced criminals. Fraud and attempted fraud can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the non-emergency number for the police on 101.”
As a rule it’s always wise to ignore any requests for personal or financial details over the phone (unless you’re the one making the call) and, after replacing the handset, always leave the phone for a good 15 minutes or so before calling-out again to a known / legitimate number in case the scammer is still hanging on to the end of your line (BT have separately made some changes to combat this).